It’s no secret that 2020 has been a difficult year, as our nation began battling a pandemic and an economic crisis that continues to overwhelm many of our families, schools, and communities. For many, it also brought long-overdue focus to our urgent need for racial justice. As we close out 2020 and consider the challenges it brought to our collective educator community, we want to take a moment to share three things that brought us hope this year.
1. Educators everywhere.
When the pandemic began in late winter, few of us could have predicted the tumultuous effect it would have on the day-to-day business of teaching and learning. Through months of disrupted schooling, we saw educators bravely navigate these uncertain times with unrelenting, deep care for their students. We are grateful for the ways that educators moved instruction online, persisted in their outreach to families, and showed up to make each day just a little better than the one before. Thank you for all you have done for our students, we wish you peace and rest during this holiday time and a bright new year!
2. Those who spoke up and showed up for racial justice.
The senseless murder of George Floyd by police catalyzed a moment for our country. It brought together those of us who have long been outraged by the racism at our nation’s core, with those who were experiencing a new, deeper level of anger. We thank those who showed up at protests and rallies, those who spoke out to support the cause of racial justice, and those who pressed for change in themselves and their communities. Especially, we thank those educators who didn’t shy away from engaging in critical conversations with their colleagues, leaders, and students in the name of educational justice..
3. Our extraordinary UnboundEd team.
While nothing will replace the power of an in-person Standards Institute, our nimble team worked incredibly hard to rapidly develop synchronous and asynchronous virtual experiences during the spring. We are grateful for being able to touch so many educators directly during these uncertain times and proud to have engaged with 4,000 of them since March!
With gratitude and hope for a better 2021, we send our thanks to each and every one of you for your contributions in making our education systems and our instruction more equitable and rigorous. We have a long road ahead and we look forward to journeying together to bring students engaging, affirming, and meaningful grade-level instruction. Thank you.
The pandemic also spurred us to engage with educators in new ways. Since March, we have produced six webinars and four asynchronous modules, delivered 10 keynote presentations/panels. Check out Lacey Robinson’s keynote at a convening of leaders in Nebraska! In addition, we are proud to build new partnerships with like-minded organizations, as we are now listed in the Rivet Professional Learning Partner Guide and worked with EdTrust West to build a Math Equity Toolkit.
We are excited about all that 2021 will offer for us! Kick-off the year with us on February 4 and 11. Registration is open! We’ve added a new pathway for teachers on the UnboundEd Planning Process (UPP) for K-5 and 6-12 grade bands and will continue to offer districts and states an opportunity to host their own Virtual Summit throughout the winter and spring.