The outbreak of Covid 19 pandemic has changed a lot many things. We have come across many new concepts like social distancing, lockdown, online classes and work from home. The change that has taken place is our new normal. Some people may find themselves in survival mode, gathering information and resources necessary to function at school, work, as a person, and in our relationships with others. Others may be attempting to settle into their new routines. For some, this means trying to combat social isolation. For many, it means learning how to live (or re-live) with friends, family members, partners, or roommates, which is not always easy. I hear a lot of people struggle to find a distraction-free space at home that is conducive to do productive and effective work. For myself, I feel like it takes twice as much time, effort, and energy to do even simple tasks, which can be quite draining. I’ve really had to be very compassionate and patient with myself lately. Others may be struggling with the fatigue, frustration, sadness, anger, grief, and anxiety (among other things) of adjusting. Some people (and I hope there are a lot of you out there), have gone through the adjustment process and are finding comfort in your new norm. Work, home, and social life have all been altered. When we are dealing with a complex, interdependent, dynamic problem, the only way to build long-term resilience is to focus on strategies that optimize the whole system. For example, when we make decisions with the primary lens of profit, there are other parts of our system, like the environment that are damaged by this focus. In the pandemic, some politicians are creating a false choice i.e. prioritizing the economy over the health of the population. This “either/or” thinking generates decisions that have negative consequences for other parts of the system and weakens the long-term resilience of our whole system. COVID-19 provides many opportunities to assess, learn, and analyze leadership. The coronavirus pandemic is a complex, dynamic issue that brings a myriad of systems into play including public health, economic, social, technical, time, emotional, environmental, and many others. All these systems are interconnected, which in turn creates even more variables as these open systems reshape constraints and possibilities. This never-before-seen dynamic requires us to use a systemic approach and engage in complex decision- making. As this challenging academic term begins, and some students are learning remotely, while others are heading back in person, we urge educators to pause and reflect on what worked — and didn’t — during remote learning last spring. While we eagerly await the moment when all schools can safely resume in person, we strongly caution against reverting back to the “normal” way of doing things. “Normal” was not working for so many students prior to COVID-19.Since this remote learning experiment of 2020 upended typical school schedules and traditional approaches to teaching and learning, educators now have an opportunity to leverage key lessons and insights gained during this time to build a new normal that better supports student well-being, equity, and engagement with learning for all students during the next semester and beyond.

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