This one today is about learning. Education and learning, one might think, are almost the same thing, aren’t they? Well, let’s say sometimes they manage to get along…
So, difficult times for education. For everyone involved in it. Teachers, students, families. Even politicians are having a tough time (concede me this one, right?). And then, one might think difficult times are great for learning. This quotation summarises well the issue:
“There are certain life lessons that you can only learn in the struggle.”― Idowu Koyenikan
Now, what have we got here? An extremely difficult situation in many countries, which obviously affects education. A struggle: teachers, students, families, headmasters, politicians are all trying to do their best.
The point is the human being is not the best species ever in terms of how fast they learn, even from difficult situations. There is a saying in Spanish which would translate (more or less) like this: Man is the only animal to stumble over the same stone twice. Our history shows the fact that one war might not be enough to solve an argument. It has taken years to learn that drink and drive is not OK even it if was quite a simple lesson…
But, just for this while, let’s image we could learn an infinite number of lessons from COVID-19 and its effects on education. Which lessons would those be?
- Technology is necessary. Sorry, but it is 2020 in the calendar and the teachers not using technology at all are, to put it simply, wrong. Let’s hope COVID-19 teaches us this lesson
- Methodology is even more necessary. How can I say this? Not in a polite way, I’m afraid. If you are using tech to send a pdf containing notes and repetitive, flat, dull exercises, you are, to put it simply, wrong. We need to improve in the pedagogy area to be able to involve and motivate our students much more.
- Students are the best thing we have. We teachers have a speciality: complaining. Laws, colleagues, headmasters and, of course, students, are reasons for our complaints. Now we miss them (at least I do. Much). Let’s, please, learn this: love your kids. They are fantastic!
- School is not that bad. Now that they are trapped at home, maybe they miss us a bit too, don’t you think?
- Teachers have a tough job. If you are at home with a couple of kids (maybe three like me) and you cannot manage, imagine a classroom of 30. If we are lucky, teachers will be regarded a bit differently after this thing has gone.
- New times, new needs. There are many parents against technology at schools. They demand their children to be educated right the same way they were. Well, no. We need to realize tech is essential, not only to be connected from home but to, basically, live in the XXI Century
Cannot even start a list. Too many important lessons to be learnt here. Just a couple of ideas:
Equity must be guaranteed in education; all students have to have the same minimum conditions for their education. Tech is needed; just go and get it. Training for teachers is needed; just go and offer it. Education is basic for any country; be sure your education system is as good as you can.
So, let’s hope that, in a few weeks, we can be better than now as educators, as a society, thanks to this difficult time we are going through
Thanks for reading this post. Means a lot to me. Are there any other lessons to be learnt in your opinion? Feel free to share them in the comments box. I would love to read your thoughts.