A Normal School Year? · 11 September 2021

Another school year has just begun. I am hoping it will be mostly normal.

The last couple years of education have been quite the challenge. Going home for COVID in the middle of the 2019-2020 school year. Then, staying at home for the first half of the 2020-2021 school year. Then, having hybrid classes for the second half. Quite the teaching and learning experience. I know it was not the same for every school or every student. But whatever the case, the last couple years were not normal by any stretch of the imagination.

To be sure, some people handled the situation with grace and aplomb. Some people experienced quite the fiasco. And there were, of course, people everywhere in between. Which is why I am hoping for a mostly normal school year. Sure, there will still be people who handle every situation with grace and aplomb, and there will be others who experience quite the fiasco. That is sorta normal. But at least with what I consider a normal school year, we can do it all together. In the same place.

People are social beings. We experience life together. And we are better for it. Why else would solitary confinement be considered cruel and unusual punishment? So when we are isolated as many of us have been for the past 18 months or so, we long for that normalcy of being together. At least most of us do. That small percentage of people who do not need other people are either a bit off or they are lying. Or they are just different. I suppose that just means that people need different levels of social interaction. And getting what they need is part of being normal.

Which brings me back to school.

A normal school year is full of lots of social interaction. There are, of course, the interactions in the classrooms. Students interact with other students and with teachers. Teachers interact with students and with other teachers. And there are a whole lot of other interactions between all the kids and all the adults in the buildings.

By the way, if you do not think that all the adults in a school building are educators, you should go into one someday. (At least if it does not bring you too much trauma.) Every custodian, secretary, cook, aide, and administrator (and anybody else I missed) is there to educate the kids. The teachers do their part too, but everybody teaches and everybody learns. It is quite the team effort.

Now where was I? Oh yes. Interactions.

There are a whole lot of interactions between people in a school. And those interactions can produce much learning. And much growth. Especially, when they are positive and personal interactions. What it really boils down to is that we all need each other. We need each other in life, and we need each other in school. We need each other whether we have a normal school year or a couple crazy ones like the ones we just had.

When it comes right down to it, all I really just want to say that I hope we have a nice normal school year. A normal year with lots of learning through lots of positive personal interactions.

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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