Trend #3: Expect to See More Teacher Activism
"Teachers are feeling overworked, under-appreciated, and under-compensated. So I think we’re going to see more teacher activism to bring attention to their jobs and to what they need. Demands won’t just be for higher pay, but for smaller class sizes, support for social-emotional learning, and more planning time. We’ll also see teachers demanding more nurses, social workers, and therapists in schools. Students are suffering from depression, anger, and anxiety, and teachers are not trained to deal with these issues. The pandemic has given all of us a closer look into how hard teachers’ jobs really are. My hope is that people will be more willing to give them the support they need to help students succeed."
Trend #4: Racial Disparities Will Widen
"When we come back to school after the pandemic, we’ll see that Black and Brown kids are even farther behind their counterparts because they did not have as much access to learning opportunities, or to learning pods—or because they didn’t log into digital classrooms at all.
"It takes major events to shock the conscience into seeing that racial disparities are real, that inequality is real. In the spring of 2020, hundreds of thousands of people across the country protested after the death of George Floyd. I got a lot of calls from superintendents, principals, and school board members who said, ‘Okay, this is a real issue we have to address.’ I’ve never seen that happen before.
"My concern is that equity becomes a check-the-box item. 'We have equity PD; check. Let’s move on to technology; check.' The question is, how do we make working toward equity a sustainable part of what we do every day? I wonder if we are ready to think about our policies, practices, and school structures differently."