This has been a wild, unbelievable year.

If you’re like me, you’re probably ready to put it all behind you. We’ve endured fires, murder hornets, a contentious presidential election, and all while living a state of prolonged quarantine. 2021 can’t get here soon enough! However, before we jump headlong into the new year, I think it’s worth taking a look back to reflect on everything that has happened.

Despite all the hardship, teachers and educators can be proud of what we have accomplished. We adapted classrooms in the face of a worldwide pandemic. We created and navigated virtual tools and helped provide much-needed encouragement for our students. It was hard, exhausting work, but we rose to the occasion splendidly. Whatever the new year holds, the lessons of 2020 won’t soon be forgotten.

So, let’s take a moment to practice what we teach and reflect on the biggest lessons of 2020. Here are our Top 5 blogs to get you started:
#1) Preventing the Spread: Small Ways You Can Save Lives

“How does a virus like COVID-19 spread? We know we should wear masks and stay at least six feet apart, but we should also understand why this is important. Use these educational resources to teach students, friends, and yourself about the spread of germs. Learn how they pass from one person to the next and what unhealthy habits might contribute to their success. As any good educator will tell you, knowledge is power, and recognizing a mistake is the first step toward learning.”

#2) Out from Under the Snow

“Across the country, teachers have been doing an incredibly nival job. They’ve been reaching out to their students in creative and moving ways. They’ve been flexible. They’ve encouraged children to keep curiosity alive, sharing hands-on activities to engage young minds and create “aha” moments, even when students are stuck at home.”

#3) Now More Than Ever

“Our most important task as teachers is—and always has been—to help our students become people who live noble lives. It doesn’t matter how much they know if they don’t have the courage of character to use it for good. We’ve paid lip service to this reality, but as a profession, our actions don’t match up; we spend far more time helping our students get ready for financial success than for selflessness and sacrifice.”

#4) Two of a Kind

“You have that voice. Every day, you wake up and you change the world — maybe not for millions, but for the children who walk into your classroom. Sometimes, in the everyday drudgery of teaching, we miss that truth — we forget our power and lose our voice. Don’t let it be the case today. Teach passionately, teach positively, and teach with purpose.”

#5) Changing the Conversation: Praising Effort over Ability

“This process of praise can serve as the motivation that kids need to persist through a tough task. When faced with a negative outcome, it teaches them to be resilient, to push on and keep chugging along. They learn that they can still feel positive emotions after a negative outcome. Why? Because their value as a person has not been called into question. It was the process that they took that needs to be improved upon, and that is something they can change.”

We hope you are all staying healthy and safe during this difficult time. For more free educational resources, or ideas on how to promote healthy Social-Emotional Learning, simply follow this link!