The word 'unprecendented' has been used an unprecedented number of times due to the recent unprecendented experience of an unprecedented number and range of humanity across the globe.
How much the last few months have affected students across the country is a question that already occupies researchers, leaders and policy makers, and will do so for years to come no doubt. But whilst they pontificate the reality is that those affected have no time to waste.
Nishan Panwar: "You can't control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you."
Framing is everything, accepting what you cannot control and moving forward with the lessons and the positives. Let's see this experience as setting up this generation as uniquely equipped rather than permanently handicapped. The key is to prepare, understand, reflect and push forward. Carpe Diem.
Stephen Hawking: "Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change."
I wanted to highlight a couple of blog posts that are hugely worth a read as parents and students adjust and adapt to ensure that learners continue their progress and develop their resilience. As with all experience, the opportunity is to learn and grow in unprecedented ways. This could be the most intelligent generation ever as they will be adapting to change like no other before them.
The Carpenters (in the first blog) deal with the mental health aspects of returning to school, and the importance of keeping an eye and a focus on the broad picture of student life, to ensure a healthy and propserous transition back into school.
Confucius: "To have knowledge one must know the extent of one's ignorance."
The Levers discussed upon which schools, teachers, parents and students can focus their recovery efforts are very useful. And I would like to highlight that space must be given to ascertain all the metacognitive skills that have been developing and improving over time spent out of school, to ensure students are not disheartened by a feeling of lack of progress on the usually narrow fields of academic measurements. But also to look for assessment and transparency about what has been missed, misunderstood or misplaced. Students need to demand testing to see where they are, and then have opne conversations about what is required to get them to where they want (or need) to be. (Some on-on-one time is always helpful here either at school or using Tutorfair). But also time spent on metacognition will empower students with the confidence that any 'gaps' can be bridged, any topic mastered, given time and application. Importantly, disciplines do connect so all learning is relevant and useful to build strong foundations and connections within subject matter.
James Durran's blog is more for schools and teachers, but there are some good questions to consider for parents and students too. Those paragraphs that I'd pick out are:
Are teachers, pupils and parents being given positive messages about the curriculum?
Positive framing is so important to remove barriers and perceived obstacles from the task ahead, which has not changed! Do you best, enjoy learning, develop a breadth of skills and get the qualifications to prove it.
What will pupils actually have missed?
In what ways might some pupils now be further ‘behind’ than others?
Here is where Tutorfair can help. Low stakes assessment, exploration of metacognitive and other learning blocks, and positive relationship based intervention to help students step up, move forward and return to school with confidence.
Thanks for reading.
To read the blog posts in full:
A Recovery Curriculum: Loss and Life for our children and schools post pandemic.
Resuming the curriculum, September 2020
James Durran (@jdurran)