Remote Possibilities

Submitted By:
Jessica Flaxman, 120 Educational Consultancy, Belmont, MA

Crises have a way of laying bare the challenges that were always present, but often ignored, and in this way, the coronavirus crisis is no different. In "The Class Divide: Remote Learning at 2 Schools, Public and Private," Dana Goldstein draws needed attention to the education gap that has long existed, and continues to expand, in the United States. During this moment of remote learning, students are having vastly different educational experiences depending on the schools where they are enrolled – just as they always have. Goldstein compares a public school student in Philadelphia who did not see his teacher online until late April and a private school student in Chicago who was offered hours of online activities including live instruction, yoga, music, and cooking. Not only are some students receiving academic as well as enrichment opportunities this spring, but also some students are eating healthy, balanced meals while others are going hungry. Number 6 on the NAACP's list of "Ten Equity Implications of the Coronavirus Outbreak in the United States" concerns students and their well-being. Put plainly, students who rely on school for food and shelter will experience interruptions to their education and possibly their health as a result of school closure, while students who do not rely on school to feed or shelter them will be able to continue with their education and more successfully maintain their health. This is why, Bettina L. Love argues in "Teachers, We Cannot Go Back to the Way Things Were," the moment to much more intentionally address the education gap is now. In Love's words, "We now have the opportunity not to just reimagine schooling or try to reform injustice but to start over. Starting over is hard but not impossible; we now have a skeleton of a playbook. It starts with creativity, teacher-student relationships, and teacher autonomy." Crises have a way of showing us not only who we are, but what we really need to do.

Teaching Practice