2021 Education magazine

Page 4 2021 Education Magazine LINCOLN DAILY NEWS February 18, 2021 Educating in a most challenging year S ince our last edition of Education many things have changed dramatically and quickly. In educational circles, this was a year of great change and tumult for students, teachers and administrators. Faced with the great unknown of a novel virus pandemic, governors ordered school doors closed to the face-to-face education process and quickly promoted remote education as a replacement. Parents had to reshuffle to having their children home during the day, educators adapted to the challenges of completely changed curriculum and processes, and administrators to the rigors of student discipline, teacher encouragement and moving their schools to changing government regulations in this charged landscape. Since the pandemic came on fast in March 2020, many things like proms, student sports, and the typical graduation processes were flat out abruptly cancelled. Important social interactions and community affirmations went away for students. Communities did their best to replace important processes like graduation with socially-distanced parades and drive-bys. Many students felt like the lost generation, victims of the pandemic. Many, but not all teachers and students did well in this changed environment. Personal mentoring and the conveyance of character from teacher to student took a back seat. Teacher and student motivation devolved to burnout, exhaustion, and depression for many as part of the daily reality. Teachers reported working harder than ever. Grades suffered and some school systems even went to gradeless instruction. Remote learning brought with it new challenges. Parents had to assist with homework that was foreign and confusing. And now that it is instituted, failures corrected, fine-tuned and better understood, remote learning in varying degrees could become a continuing part of education for some institutions in the future. While many students and teachers went back to the school environment for education in 2020-2021, masks, social distancing, an unsure future and all the stress of living during the coronavirus pandemic continued to take its toll. CEL Principal Ashley Aper said, “The social emotional needs of students are more important now than ever. Teachers can’t teach when students are not emotionally regulated or ready to learn. We have a social worker that comes two days a week and we generally refer kids to her if it is an ongoing issue -- but anymore home and school life are intertwined.” A return to high school sports and recent teacher vaccinations have perhaps shown us that there may be a light at the end of this tunnel in the education process for parents, students, teachers and administrators in K to 12th grade systems. To all the students, their loving and patient parents, their courageous teachers and abiding administrators, we say thank you for working so hard, creatively adapting and staying the educational path. Well done! [LDN]