Yesterday, I shared my primary “takeaway” from the past fifteen months at “KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THE 2020/2021 SCHOOL YEAR.”
Here are four more that I think should inform education’s future (but probably won’t):
- We educators should spend less time teaching in the classroom and, instead, spend more time in collaborative lesson planning and professional development. The United States is second in the world in number of hours teachers spend in the classroom. In many other countries, teachers spend three-to-five times the amount of time we do in those other tasks that can improve what we actually do inside the classroom. You will find more infographics at Statista
- In the face of some conservatives attacking teachers’ right to help students understand systemic racism and what to do about, we should explicitly “double-down” on using resources like The 1619 Project.
Not only is it the correct pedagogical and moral action to take, but these actions may help reassure many parents of color who were reluctant to send their children back to school during the pandemic that schools definitely “have their back.”
- Spend a lot of the new federal money for school post-pandemic support on supporting students outside the walls of the classroom – home visits, social workers, nurses. In other words, “community schools.”
We’ve known for years that factors outside of school are the primary influences on student academic achievement. Perhaps now would be the time to actually do something about it.
- Temporarily reduce graduation requirements.
In California, the state sets minimum graduation requirements. Most districts set requirements that exceed those minimums. However, state law says that students facing challenging circumstances, like foster care or are members of farmworker families, only have to meet state standards. Why not make similar modifications for students who have dealt with the pandemic and make the state requirements the rule for all for the next three years? That doesn’t mean students can’t exceed them, but it could encourage “acceleration” instead of “remediation.”
Let me know what you think of these “takeaways” and share your own!