If You Do What’s Best for Your Child…
Then you’ll do what’s best for every child — Unleash Every Child’s Potential
Nearly every proposal and discussion for resuming school this fall is already conceding defeat. Nearly everyone is simply trying to stem losses and keep children busy until life returns to “normal.” It is assumed the outcomes will be worse than prepandemic education.
They don’t have to be.
In fact, the outcomes for our children over the next couple years could be substantially greater than what almost anyone would have thought possible prior to COVID 19. We have an opportunity right now that must be leveraged. Don’t let it slip away.
We must stop thinking August and September are the deadlines for figuring this out. We must also stop trying to find solutions just for this year. And we absolutely cannot plan to return to “normal” schools when this is all over, because they were already unsustainable if our hope is every child achieving anything close to their potential.
There’s a significant movement toward “pandemic pods” and similar groups children would join for school activities instead of or in addition to what local schools were planning. On the surface, these seem promising to a lot of parents and address many of the concerns parents and others have about children’s education this next year. They also are raising countless concerns.
These pods almost exclusively focus on delivery of an age-appropriate curriculum and/or activities through which children can learn, grow, and develop, though without the learning necessarily connected to the curriculum. A significant intent is to allow parents to work while children are engaged in activities with at least some value and hopefully the opportunity to interact with other children.
Instead of dedicating all this time, effort, and stress to stop-gap planning for the 2020–21 school year, wouldn’t it be better to invest it in creating schools that would unleash the potential of every child in a community?
What if this school year could be the beginning of a new era of education that closed achievement gaps and addressed inequities based on race, sex, LGBTQ+ status, socio-economic status, among others?
What if we could awaken the hidden potential of an entire generation of children?
Wouldn’t that be a better way to expend our energy and resources?
I hope you’re excited about this possibility. If you’re not excited, I get it. It seems so far beyond reality you don’t want to get your hopes up. Please reconsider. Get your hopes up. Give yourself permission to get excited about the possibilities for your child in these rather dark times.
You can spend your time lamenting the poor choices available and working toward a barely-good-enough education for your child this year, or…
You can become part of a community that wants to see every child flourish this year and every year in the future. Choose this second option and your group will become energized and start to see possibilities you never thought possible. More importantly, your children will have something about which to get excited.
The bottom line is this: The best thing for your child (or any child) is to take control over their own learning, growth, and development by joining a community of similarly empowered learners who become each other’s champions and who are guided, coached, and mentored by caring adults. Consequently, doing what’s best for one child will lead to doing what’s best for every child.
A Boomer who joined the Army during the Cold War and continues to serve. Kevin spent 30-plus years working in K-12 education as a teacher, administrator, and consultant. His book, Know Power, Know Responsibility, provides the imperatives for a complete redesign of schools and the way to get there.