#Suptchat Recap: Surprises and Challenges of 2021-2022
Despite dedicating the summer to crafting a plan for the new school year, once the Fall semester began, educators still had to move swiftly to the surprises and challenges that arose within the first weeks. The Paper team is here to highlight some of our favorite tweets! Hosts Michael Lubelfeld and Nick Polyak asked district leaders across the nation to share what's top of mind for them.
Q1: What brings you the most joy about school being back in session?
Every time the summer transitions to back-to-school season, it's an opportunity for educators to feel reconnected to their communities. This year, this feeling has been amplified exponentially because for so many it's the first time in nearly two years where students, faculty, and admins are able to be in the same physical space.
Q2: What challenges are you experiencing this year that you did not anticipate?
Students continue to display an inspiring resilience as they return to school, but navigating amendments to health and safety protocols continues to wear down communities, which unfortunately draws the ire of individuals with different beliefs.
Q3: What colleague have you already leaned on this year - give that person a shout-out!
None of us have made it this far on our own. And we should seize every opportunity to show our support systems, even if they are just a single colleague, the gratitude we'll owe them for a lifetime.
Q4: In the first weeks of the school year, what has been an early highlight?
New colleagues, new students, new skills. Those first weeks of the school year have an unmistakable buzz that educators relish.
Q5: What do you foresee as the largest challenge with the rest of this school year?
The strong start is an encouraging sign, but we're still a long way from the finish line. To finish the marathon, we need to anticipate what peaks and valleys the course ahead holds.
A5: Covid is the easy answer. However - we value career pathways at our high schools and those has been significantly disrupted during the pandemic. I see a large challenge in getting our momentum and mojo back in helping kids explore career pathways. #suptchat— Nick Polyak (@npolyak) September 2, 2021
Q6: In what ways are you continuing a silver lining from last year's experiences?
Not everyone would be able to name a silver lining from last year's experience but, ever the optimists, educators had a variety they could name instantly.
A6: Last year, we created Extended Learning Opportunities for kids who didn't successfully complete a course on time. They were very successful in helping kids show their proficiency and earn credits. We are definitely continuing that practice moving forward! #suptchat— Nick Polyak (@npolyak) September 2, 2021
#suptchat A6: One of the silver linings from the past 18 months is our district's ability to change gears rapidly in order to meet the needs of our students. What would have taken years to accomplish can now happen much more rapidly, allowing #BHill8 to improve continuously pic.twitter.com/eqZI3cXf0c— Todd Dugan (@tdugan75) September 2, 2021
Q7: How would you describe how you are measuring or addressing the social and emotional learning of students and staff?
Social and emotional learning, at first glance, seems like it would not be able to be quantified and measured. But educators have ideas in place to make sure this approach is effective.
Q8: When we look back at the end of the 2021-2022 school year, what will have made this a successful year?
With so much of administrator's focus on providing compassionate solutions for students, teachers, and families, they must not lose sight of extending that same compassion to themselves. There are so many ways to declare the 2021-2022 a success, but doing so through a compassionate lens will serve admins the best.
A8: I think the fact that we began the school year with children already makes it a success. There is no manual for a global pandemic. We are doing our best and need to give ourselves some grace. I go back to what I said earlier...simple pleasures. #suptchat— Jennifer Bova (@jennifer_bova) September 2, 2021
We'll see you all back in October!