The year began like any other. From a blogging perspective, I kicked it off with a post on what could be as a means to pump up educators as they continued to move towards embracing innovative strategies and ideas. In my opinion, January always represents an excellent opportunity to try something new. Personalized learning quickly became a focus area based on impressive outcomes from some of the schools I had been working within in an on-going and job-embedded fashion. It is always an honor to share the incredible work of educators in the field. Other pieces included topics that I traditionally cover but with new angles such as pedagogy, change leadership, and school culture.
Everything changed in March, not just for me, but the entire world. The COVID-19 pandemic began to spread like wildfire across the globe. I vividly remember being on vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, when everything seemed to go downhill overnight. Schools closed their physical buildings and shifted to remote learning as lockdowns went into effect worldwide. My reaction was to take a break from vacation and churn out a blog post focusing on resources that educators could use right away. This happened on March 12, 2020.
Who would have thought that nine months later, the pandemic would still have its tight grip on society? A powerful reminder and lesson, depending on how you look at things, came out of this mess. Even though educators were (and still are in many cases) flying the plane while building it, we learned that a virus could not stop their commitment to kids. If you get a chance to thank an educator today (or any day for that matter), please do. They are working their tails off and performing miracles in many cases. Their pay does not align with the effort, time, and stress they are dealing with during this pandemic. We are in their debt.
From March on, my blog posts focused on practical strategies in the areas of remote learning, hybrid models, and leadership in uncertain times. They were some of my most read pieces ever! What I learned was that educators were craving useable ideas aligned to the current reality. I used this time to learn and grow myself as I had to both adapt and evolve to improve as a presenter, workshop facilitator, and coach. You need to practice what you preach if it is going to have real value in today’s world, and I worked hard to do just that to better meet the needs of those reading my blog.
Without further ado, here are my most popular posts of 2020 in no particular order. Instead of sharing a summary of each, I have decided to include the unique image that was developed to accompany the content.
Strategies to Foster Discourse and Collaboration in Remote Learning Environments
In the face of adversity, resilient educators stepped up like never before. For this, we owe them our gratitude and heartfelt thanks. Some valuable lessons were also learned along the way, with the main one being that the future is bright for education. The pandemic taught us all that needed change can happen more quickly than thought. In 2021 we need to use these lessons to drive systemic change.