April 1, 2020
What has our new norm taught you? We may joke about how we all will gain weight and be unrecognizable because we missed our normal appointment with our barber, hairdresser or beautician. We may respond to every challenge, play word picture games and answer arbitrary questions on Facebook, but these time fillers don’t give us much comfort.
The Coronavirus is scary, unexpected, heartbreaking, deadly and expansive. However, there are some good things that have come from this pandemic.
Many of us have spent more time with our families and have learned things about each other we didn't know or had forgotten. Some of us needed a break from our normal routine, our boss or our daily commute. For some of us this new norm has helped us appreciate what we took for granted. We may have complained about our job before, but now we really want to go to work. Some students expressed their dislike for school in the past, however; many miss the social consistency of seeing their friends every day. I don’t know if they miss the actual purpose for school, which is to learn and receive an education.
The new way we educate our students has caused concerns. As a twenty-year educator who is married to an educator and father of two teenage students, I believe students who want to learn will learn and students who don't want to learn will not learn. On the elementary level I believe students can find what they need online. Students with great teachers will overachieve and exceed expectations. Students with average teachers will only go as far as their desire and work ethic will take them. This is true of their traditional teachers or their new teacher/parent.
As a workaholic I have learned that technology is our friend. We have this belief that coming into a brick and mortar building equals productivity. Our new norm has taught us we can do part of our job from the comfort of our home in our pajamas. I imagine every organization is different, but I think we all have figured out that we can get just as much work completed without showing up to the actual complex every day.
Although one day I want to be a small college head football coach I enjoy serving as a head high school football coach now because I am in charge of our schedule and work pattern. College coaches on every level spend sixteen hours a day, six days a week in the actual building. This way of doing things dates back to a time when we didn't have the technology we have today. Thirty years ago, coaches had one copy of game film to watch therefore the entire staff had to be in the same room watching the same 16-meter reel to reel film. Things have changed tremendously, and this is no longer necessary.
Three decades ago coaches had to literally cut film with scissors and tape frames together to make what coaches call a "cut up", now referred to as a playlist to break down each opponent in an effort to scout. It could take up to six hours to break down one game. Now this is done in less than an hour. There are several examples of how technology has changed my profession and yours.
This quarantine has taught us that we could all work from home one day a week and spend more time with our families. That is fifty-two days at home with the most important people in our life.
When I speak to business, schools and churches I often ask, "What is your take away?" I want to know what they learned from our time together, what they will take with them, and use in their day to day life.
What is your take away from our new norm?
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