What is the pandemic preparing us to talk about?
There are many discussions or topics we shy away from or speak about from the fringes as leaders in public education. It’s usually under the auspices of “not being ready” for the types of changes we know may be expected as an outcome of these discussion. So we use the passive shield of “not being ready” or saying our team is not ready and avoid hard topics.
The pandemic though has no respect for our lame excuses. It does not care if we are “ready.”
What if the pandemic is here to prepare us for these conversations? What if it is here to force us to confront some of these big ideas that we know are decrepit bastions of a bygone day which we keep around because we are afraid what throwing them out really means. Maybe we worry about what change will force us to give up? Or as leaders we worry how hard it will be to get others to give it up. It’s especially interesting if what we are confronting worked for segments of our students, teachers, and parents.
At some point though, we are going to have to stop putting gas into our Teslas and pretending it’s working.
So what are some of these topics?
I’m going to bring up a few here on the blog over the next few weeks. There will not be any answers, but rather a space to help me and others make our thinking more transparent. These topics don’t have clear answers and we need to be ok with that. Embrace the ambiguity and nuance.
We just can’t pretend we can continue to dodge the topics in a post-pandemic world.
The first topic for next week will be Cheating, which some might say is really a conversation about Grading, which some might say is really a conversation about Winners and Losers.
What other topics or ideas might the pandemic be preparing us to talk about? Share your ideas in the comments below.