Establishing A "New" Normal

Updated: Aug 19, 2020

Questions Every Educator Should Ask Themselves in Preparation for the 2020-21 School Year

There are some things we understand much better today than we did four months ago. The challenges of leading school districts and schools of all grade levels during the COVID-19 pandemic has become the greatest challenge leaders have ever faced. It’s important that leaders are equipped and supported as we continue to pivot and transition as we plan for the 2020-21 school year.

Here are key questions we encourage educators to consider as they prepare for the upcoming school year.

1. How will you lead the charge to ensure your school or class embodies systems of equity?

The challenges of leading schools while also navigating a pandemic at the same time as millions of people across the world protest social injustices makes leading even more challenging. The responsibilities of leaders in schools, colleges, universities, and various communities continue to grow.

Despite all this, good leaders will rise to the challenge. We must truly think differently about the work before us as we provide the social, emotional, and academic wellness our students deserve. There has never been a more opportune time to reform education than now. There is no better time to re-imagine our schools and the communities where they reside than now.

To help you navigate this challenge, here are our a few strategies to consider:

Map and use resources wisely (fiscal, human): Think about creative ways your school counselor, social worker, psychologist, behavior specialists and therapeutic treatment providers can support your students and their families.

Build relationships through community involvement: Expose youth to opportunities they may not normally have access to in their community. Consider building strategic partnerships with churches, mentoring programs, YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, sororities, local colleges and universities, neighborhood associations and fraternities who host activities like ballroom dancing and golf.

Small changes can make a tremendous difference: Creating change does not happen overnight. There are many ways you can promote the importance of building and sustaining our community. City, district and school websites, newsletters, social media, and podcasts are perfect places to start.

2. What role will you play in promoting health and healing of all students?

True educational and community reform will not be successful unless we include our students in the process as their involvement will foster sustainability, accountability, and much needed healing. Including our students in the process of establishing a new normal will also help create a more inclusive community as we create cultura