Teaching through change
Change can happen faster than we think, and when it’s least welcomed, but the lasting impact is often less about what happens than it is about what we do with it. Right now we are living with change almost daily, so each day we are rethinking what to do next. While daunting, there is also great opportunity to reimagine each next step as we move forward within this reality.
Teaching and learning during a year with so much change has served as an important reminder of the essential services our schools provide and the impact their absence has on students, families and communities.
During last month’s Children’s Behavioral Health System State Board meeting, I heard first-hand how Iowa families rely on these essential services and how the delivery of critical mental health and support services has been disrupted. Their stories highlight the breadth of services schools provide to students and should incite us all to reimagine better ways to serve our students and families as a collective school community.
What happens outside of the classroom has a substantial impact on students in the classroom, which is why it is so important to focus on the health of the whole child. Access to nutritious meals as well as social, behavioral and mental health services are all a part of supporting the overall well-being of our students.
As we start the 2021 portion of our school year, it is important that we look toward the future with resolve to grow from all that we have learned in 2020. No matter the circumstance, we need to be ready to provide students with access to the full array of essential services a high-quality K-12 learning system offers, regardless of geographic location or circumstance.
In a year of change and unfamiliarity, our schools continue to be a reassuring presence and much needed connection for our families, our communities, and for our students to learn and grow.
Here’s to a new year, reimagined.