To the Teacher Class of 2020/2021, Through the months of this pandemic, I have seen Health and Physical Education Teachers, Administrators, Association Boards, Lecturers, Professors come together like never before. Perhaps this shared common dilemma of meeting this historical moment with a combined mission of responding to a crises while maintaining a relevant learning environment for our students caused us to challenge the silos we operate within. Perhaps it reminded us that we are on the same team to serve the children of the world in their pursuit to have access to the physical culture that so many of us have benefited from. Maybe some of us who have roots in sports and competition that pushed us to strive and maybe outdo our peers were challenged to let go of this individual pursuit for a more communal approach to being teachers with hopes of constructing a new future where we all win? Where all our students benefit from the work of our colleagues around the world? Our colleagues worked diligently and instead of capitalizing on their creation, they used their creativity to produce and give it away. We are interdependent. Not only were we challenged to take advantage of technology to rip down walls between our peers but between ourselves and our students. Technology brought us into our students’ homes and forced our field to reevaluate everything from relevance of teaching methods, validity of assessments, all the way to the purpose of the subjects we are responsible for teaching. They were all thrown up into the air. As the pieces came back down, we had to choose what to catch and to what let fall away. In these moments we affirmed what we value. No longer were we able to rely on business/teaching as usual. We had to intentionally select or reject some of our old ways to forge new paths. An enormous task (to totally understate it), but the beauty is you are a stronger and more purpose full teacher because of it. This year we practiced what we preached. We value lifelong learning and the relentless pursuit of adventure. We lived it. We did it. You did it. We now stand at the end of this long tunnel of the 2020-2021 School year. We are forever changed. There is no looking back. We cannot unlearn what we have seen and experienced. As teachers, we are called to pay it forward. To take our knowledge and let it drive us to liberate the next generation. What will you do with it?
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