The year 2020 came with many unprecedented challenges. At Nova Pioneer, we like to see challenges as opportunities. I believe that to truly learn, one must be taken out of their comfort zone. The pandemic certainly catapulted us all into that space, and beyond. I sincerely believe that there are some important lessons that give me hope for the future and evolution of education:
Adaptability is imperative
Without a doubt many of us found out just how flexible we could be, despite many challenges. It was during these tough times that we saw new ideas being born and discovered various new ways of working. We all had to adapt.
Endurance has been tested
While many of us are still grieving all that was lost in the year 2020, we can’t deny that it was in these moments of real loss that we saw communities come together and support each other. Of course, this has not been true for all facing the massive challenges of a pandemic, but it has pushed humanity into a different way of thinking about things.
Rethinking how we deliver education
Following the announcement of school closures in March last year, the education sector, and the independent schools sector in particular, has had to constantly think on its feet and venture into spaces that were new, and often scary, for us all.
Online learning became an essential offering, even if this was not a route considered before. Education institutes like ours have had to become learners themselves, walking a journey exploring this online world together with teachers, parents and students. Teachers, at first terrified of this new world, were excited to hone their research skills by looking into better ways of reaching their students. This, in turn, gave them the opportunities to develop their peers professionally.
No one has the answers
We were, and still are, all in this together and no one has all the answers. All I know is that these challenges have presented opportunities to be lifelong learners at a head-spinning pace! There were no “how to” video tutorials on how to teach or learn this way readily available – we are all pioneers. The whole world was learning at the same time – no one had all the answers.
Still more to learn
What we know for sure is that we have learned that there will still be ongoing challenges. However, given a growth mindset where solutions are part of the journey, we are certain that we can face these new and difficult challenges. Once this pandemic is over, our learnings will stay with us, particularly the understanding that we are more flexible than we think, more capable of learning, adapting and reinventing than we dreamed possible. We now have evidence that resilience is something we can build, particularly with the support of others, and through supporting others. Many generations will be affected by this time period but not all the changes have been negative. In fact, dare I say there is a lot of hope for the future and evolution of education.