20 Teachers Share How Education Will Change in 2021
20 Teachers Share How Education Will Change in 2021
We always expect things to change whenever a new year rolls around; though it’s hard to imagine anyone saw it coming just how much things would change in 2020. Over the past few months, we’ve seen education evolve and adapt in new ways, and now that we’ve learned to always expect the unexpected, we know that 2021 will likely continue the pattern. Edmentum has watched as educators in every kind of classroom imaginable conquered 2020, which is why we went to our amazing network of educators on Facebook and asked you to tell us: how do you see K-12 education changing in 2021? What are some of the positive changes you see on the horizon? What are some of the potential challenges? Here are just a few of the thoughtful and provoking responses we received:
- “A positive is that I've seen so many families bonding together, playing games, and just enjoying each other. Distance learning is difficult for our special needs, so the family time is so important for them. Challenges: returning to school and getting back on the school schedule. A lot of our students are used to sleeping in or going to bed later and this can cause a huge challenge with schedules.”
- “I am a preschool instructional coach. I see the future as more programs available virtually for teachers and for parents. I know that many educators have had a fast course on technology. I see offering teachers a virtual meeting room with resources available at their fingertips. I feel this pandemic should have made everyone more organized and focused on what is important in education and how to reach families. There will be an appreciation of the social-emotional time that we have when we can connect together in the classrooms. Assessments will be planned for and not put off until the end. We should all have a better appreciation for each other and the importance of teamwork, support, and valued work along with collaboration together. Some of the meetings have been accomplished virtually which I hope continues for staff to enjoy those professional development days at home if possible. We have been allowed to wear jeans every day as a morale booster and I think this kind of act can be done even when there isn't a pandemic. Teachers get burnt out no matter what the conditions are. Let's support each other and stay strong!”
- Judith G.
- “One of the positive things that has happened this year is the students' abilities to grasp using the technology so well. One of the challenges has been getting them to do the work and turn it in to the teachers. I see both continuing into the next school year.”
- Darlene F.
- “As a positive, I see that students are becoming much more independent with technology and are receiving access to new resources through technology. For a potential challenge in 2021, it may be difficult to continue to come up with new ways to continue student engagement through remote learning.”
- Hannah W.
- “I see K-12 education transforming by the incorporation of the 21st century skills, importance of computer skills, and STEAM approach in all classes. I may be biased as a STEAM teacher, but I see teachers incorporate cross curriculum approaches to reach students with meaningful projects and project-based learning (PBL). Some of the positives of a shift to 21st century skills show students soft skills in-class that focus on communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking, and these skills are teaching students to approach the world with STEAM framework for problem solving. Other positives are the incorporation of the 21st century skills into virtual classroom allows students to gain computer skills and literacy need to be a successful human being in the ever-changing world. The challenges of changing K-12 education is the issue of inequality in access and support at home since both issues have shown to major contributors on student achievement. Students need to be able to access technology and support at home to reinforce the importance of education. A realization that I am in education to change the future by shaping minds to being more responsible, aware, balance, and motivated for change.”
- Samantha L.
- “Some of this year's challenges has allowed kids to discover more responsibility, as well as independence. In contrast, it has provided opportunities for students to dodge the "radar" for completing quality assignments. Plenty of room for professional development to choose from!”
- Nathan C.
- “How do you see K-12 education changing in 2021? I see education for K-12 changing in 2021 as students are adapting to our new norm students and educators will rely on creative ways to engage students remotely and electronically. What are some of the positive changes you see on the horizon? Some positive changes I see on the horizon are family/school relationships becoming stronger as we are all learning something new as we go. Communities are appreciating the education system more and it is uplifting as a teacher to see these changes in how we are viewed in society. What are some of the potential challenges? Some of the potential challenges are mental health between educators and families as we deal with personal issues while still trying to do our best to educate our students as well as families while we are still dealing with a pandemic, having to adjust their lives in a way that was never imaged while still being strong and trying to keep some sort of normalcy in their home and lives.”
- Kalila C.
- “I’m a kindergarten teacher. I see education changing in 2021 in many ways. Recently we have had lots of success using Edmentum for our distance learning at our school. My kids love it and look forward to distance days. It allows teachers to easily assign lessons with a few simple clicks, amazing! We now have ways to assign lessons and not worry about our kids falling behind or making up missed school days! The only challenges I’ve seen so far are students who do not have devices or internet at home to complete their lessons. Hoping 2021 brings us all a safe, fun and educational year!”
- Kayla B.
- “I am a middle school counselor and working a lot with students who are REALLY struggling with isolation and are just mad/sad about current situations. We have not closed our schools this academic year (we’re hybrid), and I think that is the most positive thing of all looking into 2021. I am grateful we can all still be together and teach our students in person and stay healthy.”
- Kathryn F.
- “I am a first-year teacher, and this year has been nothing short of challenging, that’s for sure. A positive thing I have seen has been how well our school community has come together to help each other during these times. There are grandparents learning Zoom just so they can help their grandchildren with remote learning. Parents are spending more quality time at home with their kids helping them learn. Teachers and administrators are working more together now than I have seen in the past. It’s truly amazing how difficult times really bring everyone together. A challenge is not always being physically around my students to make sure all their learning needs are meet. I have to put a lot of faith and trust in the families at home to help meet their educational needs. I am still optimistic that we will soon be out of this stronger than before.”
- Brianna B.
- “Students are becoming more independent and are able to go at their own pace. A challenge is going to be discovering new ways to continue engagement through remote learning.”
- Stephanie A.
- “One positive change that I’ve seen in my students is them appreciate time with each other even more! It’s a challenge to catch students up when they’ve missed so much school, but they’re all working hard!”
- Kami R.
- “A positive is that I think both students and teachers were reminded of how much they need and miss one another when they can't be together in the classroom. I think this has led to a new found appreciation for each other.”
- Barb P.
- “K-12 Education is changing and becoming more of a "show me what you can do," instead of earning so many letter grades on assignments and assessments. This is a positive change in that it will motivate secondary students more, and learning isn't just "busy work." The challenge with this is the amount of individualized preparation on the part of the teacher, in addition to teaching students virtually.”
- Christine S.
- “The students have really taken the new classroom procedures due to COVID very well. I see students becoming more flexible and understanding. They are becoming more versed in technology and more independent overall. I implemented new routines in my classroom and I plan on reusing my ideas even when this COVID pandemic is behind us.”
- Katie W.
- “As a school psychologist, I love seeing all of the ways my special education teachers have incorporated technology and unique learning methods during the pandemic. I hope they continue to find inventive ways to help educate our students!”
- Stephanie S.
- “I see education changing in 2021 by becoming more flexible. I believe changes such as virtual meetings can be retained even after schools are open traditionally to help strengthen the home/school connection. Challenges may include addressing the variety of skill levels and background knowledge that potentially widened during virtual learning.”
- Jennifer B.
- “Students are understanding the importance of education. There is a want to be in the classroom. I teach in a school that has been face-to-face since August and I am very thankful for that. These students are learning how to adapt to changes as we get new rule and regulations for the state. Overall my students have kept an open mind set and been positive in such a time. I foresee challenges for some students if we have to go virtual, many students need structure and the classroom setting.”
- Nicole P.
- “Within my state, we have seen a wide range of techniques being used by multiple districts. I truly believe that each one is doing the best they can and look forward to educating our fine youth in 2021. One positive change within my classroom is implementing an H.S. SEL curriculum. Very excited about it and look forward to expanding more curriculum and ideas within this area. The biggest challenge I have seen is the disconnect between some students, teachers, and staff as a whole. Just hope to keep doing our best and look forward to 2021, whatever that it brings.”
- Shane F.
- “Students are familiar with technology and we can continue to integrate more and more into our daily lessons. Challenges would be adjusting to going back to school. My students have been remote.”
- JE P.
We’ve seen the dedication, passion, and heart educators like you have put into this past year to ensure student success. To celebrate all that you do and the season of giving, we’re hosting our annual Holiday Giveaway, this year THREE lucky educators will each win a $500 Target gift card!
Be sure to enter the giveaway before it closes on December 31, for your chance to kick off 2021 with a $500 Target gift card. Thank you for all that you do for your students, schools, and communities – it certainly does not go unnoticed by us. We Wish you and your families all the best this holiday season and a happy New Year!