We can all agree that the challenges we have seen in the last two years are unprecedented. However, when we consider what has happened and what we have learned, there is much to celebrate.
We can celebrate because the students are back at school. We can celebrate the spotlight that libraries and librarians have. We can celebrate the fact that superintendents no longer have to light the moon as meteorologists to call Snow Day because we can give practical instructions.
We cannot forget the specific challenges and controversies, although we did argue about masks, vaccines and books. Teachers are quitting their jobs. Librarians are facing criminal consequences for their collection. District leaders are trying to navigate the growing political landscape where it is becoming almost impossible to please everyone.
Yet, as history has repeatedly shown, we become stronger and wiser in times of crisis. Which in itself is a cause for celebration.
When I turned to my professional network of teachers and librarians and asked what they had learned this year (and what they would take with them for the rest of their careers) they too found a way to celebrate. Here are some highlights from what I’ve heard from teachers, librarians and administrators across the country:
“I have learned that I am capable of teaching in the fifth grade. After my first year, I have a year under my belt and so do my students. I believe behavioral problems can be solved through more practice. I’m excited for next year! ”Marcus Joseph