The new normal.
I've heard this phrase a lot lately. Repeated in the media, on twitter, and in conversations. It crops up almost as much as the word pivot...another word that needs to disappear. Even the meteorologist used it recently. "We are going to pivot into some warmer temperatures over the next few days." Ugh.
But, the phrase the new normal bothers me. Why are we trying to normalize this pandemic? We have all made adjustments to our daily routines. We have watched the economy come to a grinding halt. And, now many public school districts are facing massive budget shortfalls. There is nothing normal about it.
School will be different as the Fall semester begins. That much is certain. Students, parents, staff, and every stakeholder in education knows this. I am optimistic that education can shift away from high-stakes testing, but I worry that many of the services will be absent when kids return to school. Districts here in California are already planning to reduce staff. And, librarians and counselors top the list. Elective course, like art and computer science, may not exist in the Fall.
It is difficult to see a way out of this new normal, I suppose. Maybe we are looking at this situation the wrong way. Maybe it requires us to look beyond the surface. Maybe something good can come of this situation and create a new and better normal.