- The Learning Loss Discussion is Misguided - April 20, 2021
- Opinion: Prepare for the Mass Teacher Exodus in Georgia and Around the Country - March 17, 2021
- Reimagining Schools After COVID-19 - September 16, 2020
- How Much More are Teachers Expected to Give? - August 22, 2020
- Considering Opening Schools in the Fall? Think Students and Teachers First. Not Adults - May 27, 2020
- Teacher Appreciation Day: How Can Schools Appreciate Teachers Regularly? - May 8, 2020
- 5 Free Reading Apps for Parents to Utilize - April 4, 2020
- Best Websites for K-5 Math Virtual Education - March 21, 2020
- Black Teacher Retention Matters - February 25, 2020
- Real Talk: How do you know when it is time to leave a school? - January 30, 2020
Since March, the United States has been in a pandemic due to COVID-19. Over 189,000 lives have been lost to this virus. Our country is being led by an unfit leader who has appointed a Secretary of Education with no experience as a public educator. It almost seems like we’re in the twilight zone. Personally, I’ve been waiting to wake up from this bad dream.
When public schools were “shut down” in March, the world shifted. Life as we knew it changed. Students didn’t have access to teachers who love them. Teachers were uncertain about what the rest of the school year would look like. Administrators wondered how they could still manage their schools. The end of the 2019-2020 school year was significantly modified as learning was remote, standardized testing was waived, and everyone did the best that they could.
Over the past few months, I have really been thinking about what education could look like post-COVID-19. Nothing is normal right now. The remote learning and modified school schedules should not be accepted as normal. There is radical work to be done as we reimagine what school could look like.
Here is a shortlist of what could be done to reimagine school:
- Completely get rid of the standardized testing requirement
- Lower class sizes
- Increase teacher salaries
- Increase the number of school counselors and social workers
- Decrease the number of police in schools
- Conduct differentiated anti-racist training for every single adult in the school building and district office
- Completely deconstruct the current curriculum and rewrite it with the lens of educational freedom, abolitionist teaching, and equity for all students
- Understand the reality of the achievement gap. According to Dr. Bettina Love, “it is not just about White students outperforming dark students; it is about a history of injustice and oppression. It is about the “education debt” that has accumulated over time due to the educational survival complex. (p.92)”
- Allow students to dream and have a voice in what their education should look like
- Completely revamp the special education program
- Switch to a four-day teaching schedule. Fridays can be used for catching up and teacher professional development
- Prioritize teacher mental health services
- Prioritize student mental health services and social-emotional learning
- Increase teaching and student autonomy
- Increased community support
- Prioritize time for teacher and student creativity in schools
- Revamp school discipline policies
- Revamp the role of the instructional leader
- Revamp the role of the administrator
- Prioritize differentiated professional development for teachers
- Increase school-based intervention specialists
- Prioritize community-based learning
- Train all teachers to recognize high potential in every student
- Prioritize enrichment experiences for all students
- Prioritize equal access to the curriculum for each student
- Regularly listen to teachers. They are the experts in education
Dr. Love talks about the importance of freedom dreaming. I allowed myself to do just that and I encourage you to do the same. What would it look like if we completely reimagined schools as we know them?
What else would you add to the list?
Love, B. (2019). We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.