In mid-June, CRPE, in partnership with the Reinvention Lab powered by Teach For America, gathered a “change-maker” group of students, educators, and education leaders. It was an intimate gathering of people committed to a learner-centered, radically different future of education. The question posed to the group, as we faced a summer that could lead to a “return to normal school” in most of the country, was:
How do we help schools prevent “back to normal” inertia and fuel change?
One key theme kept trickling into our conversation as a potential answer to this question: create space.
- Create space to honor the exhaustion of everyone in the system.
- Create space in the schedule.
- Create space for young people to be themselves.
- Create space to build bridges outside the walls of the school.
Visionary state and federal leaders can use their influence and, critically, their COVID-19 recovery funds, to give educators and community collaborators opportunities to build innovative proof points, and to create structures that allow them to actively disseminate lessons and inspiration throughout their systems and to other communities.