Looking Ahead

With the labour dispute in BC continuing, the questions about tomorrow and the future are mounting. One question that’s sat with me over the past few days is, “what will education look like when this is resolved?”.

 

I can’t speak for the logistics of class size and composition. Nor can I say what will happen to the structure of days, length of classes, or impact on the remainder of the school year. What I do know is that before this disruption took place, there were amazing things happening in schools across the province; Teachers and EA’s were exploring best practices to help each learner achieve success. And many administrators were a taking a lead and assisting to provide the types of freedom necessary to explore new and innovative strategies.

A common theme emerging from parents, educators and children is the reality that we need to prepare today’s learners with the ability to adapt to an ever-changing world. In many conversations with colleagues and parents, I’ve heard the concern about preparing students for a world where we are unsure what it will look like. These concerns are valid. My sense is that this is a concern that has been past through the ages and it is more urgent than ever with the rapid rate of change in the world around us. Through many conversations I am beginning to wonder if it’s possible that this concern comes from looking ahead with too narrow a scope.

The reality is that we are heading in the right direction in preparing learners to be adaptable. Thinking back to June when there was uncertainty about exams and report cards, and more recently over the past few weeks, I’ve had countless conversations with both students and parents around implications of the disruption to the school system. What I have discovered is how adaptable our learners have become. Almost every conversation with a student has ended positively as they discover and see for themselves, options moving forward.

The uncertainty seems to be the most difficult for kids to deal with. After sitting down with students and discussing what options they have, they’ve been working through their personal situations and leaving with a plan. They recognize that there is always going to be change. And in turn, those changes will change. They understand that situations will grow and evolve and that it is up to them to adapt and look for ways to resolve and move forward when they can.

These interactions have been uplifting during these difficult times. In a time when we don’t know what next week could look like, let alone 5, 10 to 15 years from now, it is promising to see so many critical thinkers working together and being creative around problem solving. Whatever finer details emerge when this disruption is resolved, I firmly believe that this type of critical thinking will continue and that we will continue to see more and more learners emerging from our buildings with the core competencies to achieve success, no matter what the world looks like down the road.

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