As a veteran, seasoned, and yes, old Catholic school educator, I truly admire what our teachers are doing to spin on dime and change the nature and direction of education today. While our medical personnel, first responders, and all on the health and well-being front are hailed as heroes today (and rightfully so), our teachers are also rockstars on the mind and spirt front on behalf of children everywhere.
I think back to the days of overhead projectors, lecturing, 16mm movie projectors, opaque projectors, mimeo and ditto sheets (and the accompanying purple fingertips), and filmstrip projectors WITH sound (now, that was “streaming” back in the day). How would we have reacted had a COVID-19 similar crisis taken place? How many ditto and mimeograph machines would we be wearing out? Fortunately, technology has progressed to the point that allows us to be in touch on a mass scale with students and we appear to be making good use of it in most cases.
The creativity and innovation evolving from our wholesale use of technology is taking many if not all of our schools to technological and educational levels some thought would not happen for years to come. The big questions now are, what’s next, and where do we go from here? What will our education delivery system(s) look like when we begin coming back together? In fact, will there be a need to come together in the same way we did before COVID-19? I don’t know, but I am excited to think about it. What I do know is that we have much to be thankful for, seeing how our teachers and school leaders are willing to meet the challenge and are able to pivot, change and expand the way they have been sustaining their Catholic mission, delivering instruction, and keeping their communities strong.