Many have labeled the pandemic’s run as our “lost year”–lost activities, lost vacations, lost connections. More commonly, however, it is a reference to the loss of an academic year for America’s children.
Since March 2020, not a single day has been void of news stories, social media memes, or (socially-distanced) checkout aisle conversations about kids, school, dining room tables, and wondering when it will all end. And so “back to normal” has been our collective mantra.
COVID-era remote education began with low expectations. It was rushed. It was out of most people’s comfort zone. For many, it was seen as a momentary placeholder and treated as such. As summer transitioned into fall, however, students and parents started to accept their new normal and started digging in for the long haul of an at-home 2020-21 school year.
And, guess what? It got better. When “going back to normal” was no longer a shiny object to be found just around the corner, families adjusted. They found new ways to make learning work and they gained a new perspective on the learning process.