Finding Our New Normal

Something we’ve learned from the pandemic is that people want a more balanced life. We want decent wages to afford a home and good food, enough to save for vacations and retirement. We want enough time to take care of ourselves and our families.

We don’t mind going to the office, but not five days a week, battling hours of traffic, coming home depleted.

As teachers, we are seeing the impact the year without in-person school has had on our students. We see that they can’t just come back to campus and pick up where they left off.

I think one thing that’s going on for all of us is that we are wondering what this is all for. We have been ignoring our basic human needs for a long time in order to get ahead – getting a promotion, a job title, getting into the ‘right’ college. We lost focus on our interdependence, the joy of learning, and the beauty of the moment.

I think we all want to get back to a new normal that is a bit less stressful, a bit less fast, a bit less busy. I think we’d like to see all people respected, a plan for improving the climate situation, a focus on community, and our common values.

It’s a great time to re-examine our why. In schools, it’s a great time to assign less homework, ease up on the testing culture and find ways to engage our students.

Personally, I want to talk about contributions of non-white mathematicians and economists. I want to engage students using global data, to get them aware of how things things are outside of the US.

Make a comment below if you have ideas to share.

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