How do you navigate public education during a global pandemic?
Here we are, September 2021 and we are still in limbo, with the delta variant raging and children under 12 still ineligible for a vaccine. Yet all of Washington’s school districts are returning to class in person, with mandatory staff vaccinations, masks, distancing, and other protocols designed to make the experience as safe as possible.
All of this means that many teachers, parents and students face many anxieties, joys, frustrations and fears about returning to some semblance of “normal”, with new challenges and recent traumas still on their minds.
For the third season of This Changes Everything, a Crosscut podcast on the events that transform society, we are focusing on educating the public. We want to know what has changed or been revealed about our education system as a whole, now that we have suffered one of the biggest school disruptions in decades. What lessons have we learned from this experience that we can now take with us and apply to this school year and the next? What creative innovations, born of necessity or desperation, will stay with us?
And what have we known for a long time, but now see more clearly? What will we no longer tolerate?
Over the past few months, for example, we have seen many teachers, parents and advocates publicly stress that even if things were to “get back to normal” this school year, that would not be enough. “Normal” was not fair. “Normal” did not necessarily work for all students.
Whatever your thoughts on all of this, we would love to hear from you! We are looking for parents, teachers and K-12 students interested in sharing their experiences over the past year and a half, as well as their fears and hopes for the future.
If you have a story to tell and would like to participate, please complete this form at this link, or in the embed below.
This story first appeared in Crosscut’s weekly newsletter. Want to know more about journalists like Sara Bernard and Venice Buhain? Sign up for the newsletter, below.