We can all agree that the challenges we’ve seen in the last two years are unprecedented. However, when we consider all that’s happened and all that we’ve learned, there is also much to celebrate.
We can celebrate because students are back in school. We can celebrate the fact that libraries and librarians are in the spotlight. We can celebrate the fact superintendents no longer have to moonlight as meteorologists to call a snow day because we can deliver instruction virtually.
We can’t forget specific challenges and controversies, though—we’ve argued about masks, vaccines, and books. Teachers are leaving the profession. Librarians are facing criminal consequences over their collections. District leaders are attempting to navigate an increasingly political landscape where it’s becoming nearly impossible to please everyone.
Yet, as history has demonstrated time and time again, we emerge from crises stronger and smarter. Which in and of itself is a reason to celebrate.
When I turned to my professional network of teachers and librarians and asked what they’ve learned this year (and what they would take with them for the rest of their careers) they, too, found ways to celebrate. Here are a few highlights of what I heard from teachers, librarians, and administrators across the country:
“I’ve learned that I’m capable of teaching fifth grade. After my first year, I have a year under my belt and so do my students. I believe behavioral issues can be resolved with more practice. I’m excited for next year!” Marcus Joseph