Lessons Learned in 2020: A Year in Review

In this holiday season…this year…it’s so easy to see the negative, but there is so much more…This pandemic that separates us from friends and loved ones, that is changing the face of employment and education, and threatens our very lives has also done something else; it has reintroduced us to ourselves and our capabilities.

This cursed pandemic has forced us to slow down consumption and appreciate the simple commodities offered within our individual communities and recognize the industry and workers who keep them there. Slowing down was needed. Let’s face it. Those pre-pandemic schedules led us away from the heart of what makes a home. With a less hectic pace, there is time to appreciate those we love and not take them for granted.

This pandemic has reminded us to protect and cherish the time we have together. While being separated can feel isolating, instead of running here and there, we have had the opportunity to be still…and appreciate those closest to us. It has pushed us to discover new ways to connect and reminded us how valuable human connections are.

This pandemic has restructured the workforce allowing many to work from home. Those working from home have had the added gift of being there for their children. Family dinners and game nights are back. Granted, parents have had extra challenges, but it has also been an opportunity to be in the moment and play a bigger part in their kids’ lives and education.

Speaking of education, this pandemic has re-called me into the classroom. As a retired high school teacher with multiple endorsements, I found that I could not sit by when help was needed. Although learning to maneuver the classroom via technology was daunting, it was also a challenge I found exciting...and like our students, I have used it to grow...but what comes next is a bit of irony any English teacher can love. Today while preparing SOL review materials, I came across a prompt from 2010 suggesting online education offers more possibilities than in-person learning…(hmmm…. what a difference a decade can bring…) Well, I can now say from experience, on-line learning offers just as much…but in a different way. Educators have risen to the challenge of discovering unique technological formats that inspire and deliver engaging lessons.

Opportunities surround us like a present waiting to be unwrapped. We just have to see it and accept it for what it is. Finally, this pandemic has turned the sound of a cough into perilous thoughts, but the end results have been astounding. Our medical community…heroes they all be…have gone above and beyond expectations even creating a vaccine in record time…That is miraculous...and even more miraculous, our government has made distribution organized...methodical... (if only they could apply that skill to all things).

This pandemic…it has pushed us to be more than we were. We have worked together…driven by need…and rediscovered our potential. We are using technology to our advancement and protection, when before it was beginning to feel like technology was using us…

So, when thinking about 2020, push away those shadows and shades and embrace the good that beckons us to it like a shining star…We have rediscovered who we are and who we can be…We have rediscovered a blessed creation-US…and that is something special to celebrate this season and always.

This story is part of a Educators collection.