How The Perspective on Education is Changing for the Better

How The Perspective on Education has Changed for the Better

I woke up this morning and threw on a nice shirt to pair with my favorite pajama pants. I made my way to my desk in the corner of my bedroom, with my favorite coffee mug in hand. I checked my calendar for my Zoom schedule for the day. This was becoming my new “normal” as a teacher in the midst of a global pandemic. 

At first, when schools closed, I was devastated. I was anxious about my students’ lives and needs outside of school. I was upset that I didn’t get to say goodbye to them. I’m still upset if we’re being honest. However, as weeks pass and I’ve been able to witness those in education adapt and change at a pace that defies all odds, I’ve been able to see the “bright” side of things.

I won’t say that this pandemic has been “bright” as a whole, but there are some massive perspective changes in education—and honestly, I’m here for it. 

Never have I heard so many appreciative words geared towards teachers. I don’t even know how to respond because I’ve become so accustomed to constant criticism. Now, I hear parents question why we’re not being paid double our salary, while the members of our board commend us for preparing students for remote learning.

Remote learning—it’s a massive learning curve. Do you know what prepared our students for this craziness? Teachers constantly implementing technology into lessons. 

I no longer foresee anyone questioning just WHY we must include SO MUCH technology in our lessons. Instead, there will be a general understanding that technology will always have the unique ability to connect us when we can’t physically be together. It is the glue that is holding our education system together right now, and the only reason anyone is able to continue school. 

The best part of continuing school right now? A test is not our main goal. For once, our main goal is what it should have been all along: learning. We’re not simply learning something for a test. Our kids are learning more information we never had the time, or patience, to teach them because we were so stressed out wondering how we’d be judged when our students didn’t test perfectly on a timed assessment that supposedly rated their learning for an entire school year.

Teachers have new stresses and concerns with this entirely new learning model, trust me. For once, though, testing is not a source of this stress and it feels great. It feels great listening to our kids’ questions through a computer screen and being able to offer them an explanation rather than redirecting them because it’s not relevant to a test or because we’re running out of time. Even though it looks weird, we get to teach. We love to ACTUALLY teach.

It also feels as if we’ve passed the baton to the parents in so many ways. Not all students have an ideal home life and that absolutely breaks my heart. For many students, this is a chance to spend quality time with mom and dad, brothers and sisters—and THAT makes my heart so happy.

I spend more time with my students than many of their own parents do; to me, that’s a problem. I should never be a child’s #1, although I feel so privileged to be that person for them when they need me to be. Things have shifted since the pandemic began. Kids are spending more time with their family and less time with me—and it’s made them BETTER. I can tell from their faces across the computer screens and from their online journal entries. 

There is so much more to life than organized education. Kids will always learn at home through DOING things, through relationships, and through time by themselves. Sometimes our education system can completely overwhelm kids, convince them they need to constantly be doing MORE, and make grades seem superior to real-life experiences. Suddenly, that has changed—and mostly for the better.

Kids become better humans when they have enough family time, enough space to explore, and enough time to be creative. It’s easy to see the negative of this situation, but you might be surprised just how easy it is to spot the positive effects of the pandemic on education.

Today, as I virtually visit my students, I’ll focus less on the scary stuff and the unknown outcomes—and I’ll focus more on their insane ability to adapt to change and just their overall happiness. During this time that can feel dark, teaching my kids helps me hang on to all that is bright.

Also Read:

How the Pandemic is Changing the Perspective on Education For the Better

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Whitney Ballard is a writer and teacher from small town Alabama. She owns the Trains and Tantrums blog, https://trainsandtantrums.blog/. Whitney went from becoming a mom at sixteen to holding a Master’s degree in Education; she writes about her journey, along with daily life, through a Christian lens on her blog. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her in the backyard with her husband, two boys, and two dogs.

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