The Year 2020

Posted:24 November 2020

Author: Rebecca Still, Community Learning Network

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Did you, like me, start this year with high hopes? It was a new decade and it was exciting to say 2020. At the beginning of the year, so many references were being made to 2020 vision, (think of our theme for Symposium, Lenses on Learning 2020). We might have thought of all the possibilities 2020and learning that could happen during this year. This was going to be a year of great things!

Ironically, it has been a year of great things, just not as we had expected. The global pandemic has brought many changes to our lives. This spring many of you shifted your programs to virtual learning and low tech learning, coming up with some very creative ways to meet the needs of your learners. There were challenges to overcome, getting set up virtually, getting learners online, delivering learning packages to doorsteps, and along the way experiencing sadness as you lost learners. But summer came and with it new hope as numbers of cases decreased and we started to return to a ‘new normal’.

maskThis hope carried into the fall as so many of you once again developed creative ways to meet in person and continue some of the same delivery you were doing in the spring. Of course, this brought about a huge learning curve as you developed procedures to guide face to face encounters. It became clear that it takes longer to implement programs under the ‘new normal’. Decisions needed to be made on what you could reasonably accomplish and more thought given on how to bring in new learners. Despite these challenges, you continued to move forward and overcome the obstacles in your way.

Now, we are once again in uncertain times and uncertain times are stressful. Many of you have planned or are planning for winter & spring programs. You may be thinking, what will you be able to continue to offer? What will need to change?

You may be feeling overwhelmed as you think to the new year, but that’s okay, after all, we are living through a global pandemic and so many of us are worn out from it. Yet it is through these hard times we often experience the greatest growth.

Let’s take some time and check in on ourselves as we come to the close of 2020. What did we learn this year? Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help take stock of your learning.

  • What do I do differently from what I did before the pandemic?
  • What new skills have I learned? Learned to use different devices? Learned to use virtual platforms?
  • What success did I have in my programs? What made it successful?
  • What new practices will I carry forward, even after the pandemic?
  • Did I find other ways to connect with people?
  • Did I learn something new about myself?
  • Will I be kinder to myself? to others who are different from me?
  • Have I learned how to create healthy boundaries? developed effective strategies to deal with stress?

Take some time in the next few weeks to think about what you have learned from this year. What are the positive things that happened despite a difficult year?

We do not know what the future will bring, but we do know this too shall pass and one day the pandemic will be over. Let’s find hope for a better tomorrow as we build on the successes and learnings of this year.

sun

Rebecca Still
CLN West-Central RSS

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