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No Going Back: Creating the New Normal We Want

by Margie Carter
May/June 2021
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/no-going-back-creating-the-new-normal-we-want/5025954/

Let’s take this crazy time to put aside our old assumptions and reimagine what education can be.

—Pam Oken-Wright

Here we are, past the one year mark of our world being upended by a global pandemic, palpably exhausted, both physically and emotionally. Our yearning for relief and a sense of security is now conflated with the idea of getting back to normal, yet how critical it is to uncover more discernment in this longing! Remember this: before it was taken away from us, we did not like so much of what had become normal; we continually complained about the path our beloved profession was on. Now we sound desperate to go back. What do we really mean by this longing that we have confused with returning to normal?

We need our jobs, the experience of a learning community with our colleagues, the joy of being with children in their full exuberance. Instead, going back to work means adopting a whole new set of complicated constraints that further disrupts and disempowers us to live in this vision. Precious aspects of our work—holding children on our laps, connecting with families, engaging in lively conversations that provoke us to learn and grow—have been displaced by public health ...

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