Biden says schools should reopen within first 100 days in call with governors is the headline of an Associated Press story today.
If teachers got vaccinated, and school districts got their act together to ensure safe conditions for staff and students, I think this would be great timing.
Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman tells about an experiment done in the 1990’s when two groups of patients were given colonoscopies. One group “finished” when the procedure was completed. The other group stayed a while longer, believing the procedure was continuing when in fact it had ended so the pain was gone or reduced dramatically. The second group described the procedure afterward as much less painful than the first group did, even though both groups had recorded similar levels of pain during the procedure except for the extra time provided the second group. Kahneman uses this example to explain that we have an “experiencing self” and a “remembering self.”
The “remembering self” is comprised of the one or two “peak” moments we have had in a situation combined with how it ends (this is known as the “Peak/End Rule”). It is the remembering self that tends to stick with us and the one we use to frame future decisions.
From this perspective, what occurs in the final weeks of our classes will have a huge influence on how students feel about and make future decisions related to learning, schooling, the subject you are teaching, how they might feel about future teachers (and how they might feel about future male or female teachers, depending on your gender), showing leadership in a class, etc.
I think two-to-six-weeks, depending on the scheduled end date for each district – would be enough time to take advantage of this “Peak/End Rule.”
At the same time, I also don’t think it’s worth cutting safety corners to get there.
But I hope it can happen…..