As we move to a post-pandemic kind of “normal”, there are things we adopted that I hope we keep. For example:
- Not every class has to be in-person. And not every class has to actually happen. If students are working on a project, maybe they can check in with the teacher if they need/want to but otherwise be where they feel comfortable working (could be outside, in the library, collaborating with friends, etc.).
- Zoom (or whatever your school used). Yes, yes, I know: we’re all tired of staring at a screen all day, every day, trying to teach or have meetings. But think strategically: if students are setting up meetings with you, wouldn’t it be better for them to Zoom rather than interrupt their work elsewhere? One colleague has used her vast network of professional colleagues to bring experts into the classroom. Various affinity groups might feel safer meeting via Zoom than in person. We have a weekly faculty meeting over Zoom, which means I don’t have to leave the library and can continue to work in the space while “attending”. Our admissions office and college alumni interviewers are also using Zoom to great effect.
- Snow days. We had some during the lockdown, and over the past two years. Real, honest snow days. No online classes, extensions on homework. It’s the unexpected break that refreshes.
- Virtual conferences. Ok, maybe not completely virtual. But hybrid at least. There are conferences (and publishers book buzzes, and lectures, etc.) I’d wanted to attend in the past and because of timing or location, couldn’t. Over the past two years I’ve done a lot of professional and personal development that simply wouldn’t have happened in previous years. It’s been an amazing time and I don’t want to lose that.
Having said that, this Tweet reminds me that we do need time together:
So, be judicious. Let’s keep the good, toss the bad. It might take a while but the rewards will be amazing.