Summary: what do you think that students need right now from their schools?
Original author and publication date: Sarah Schwartz — February 25, 2021
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: Education should be an open space to a new futuro, not mindless repetition of the past.
From the article:
The past school year has challenged teachers like never before.
They’ve had to create online classrooms and adapt to new ways of teaching in person, find ways to build relationships across distance, and support their students through social upheaval and natural disasters, all while weathering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic themselves.
“I think that in the short term, the impact on the profession is going to be pretty devastating,” said John Arthur, a 6th grade teacher in Salt Lake City, Utah, and a finalist for the National Teacher of the Year award.
The four finalists spoke with Education Week in a virtual round-table discussion on Thursday, hosted by the Council of Chief State School Officers, which administers the program.
Along with Arthur, the finalists are: Alejandro Diasgranados, a 4th and 5th grade teacher in Washington, D.C.; Maureen Stover, a 9th and 10th grade science teacher in Fayetteville, N.C.; and Juliana Urtubey, an elementary special education teacher in Las Vegas. The national winner is usually announced in the spring.
Despite the difficulties this year brought, the teachers said they were hopeful: for kids returning to physical classrooms, for potential policy initiatives in a new White House administration, for a future in which—maybe—the events of the past year spur a greater societal investment in schools.
“Another key element to acknowledge is the gratitude,” said Urtubey. “I as an educator feel an immense amount of gratitude for the families who are just going above and beyond to make sure their kids are learning.”
Education Week spoke with the teachers about how they’d like schools to respond to the unprecedented challenges they face now, what they want to see from President Joe Biden’s administration and his education secretary nominee, Miguel Cardona, and what the profession will look like in the pandemic’s wake.
This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
This past school year has brought constant crisis and social upheaval, from the pandemic to this past summer’s protest for racial justice, to multiple natural disasters. Amid all of this, what do you think that students need right now from their schools?