Hybrid. Remote. Cohorts. Virtual events. Zoom. Social distancing. Desk shields. Masks. All of these once-unfamiliar terms are likely to conjure different memories and emotions in each of us.
That’s because, while we all are living through what we hope will be a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, each of us has experienced the effects of the crisis differently.
District officials have remained nimble and become more creative than ever to continue the education of the children in their care. They did so while simultaneously safeguarding the health of their students and staff and navigating changing pandemic metrics and public health guidelines.
Now, as we seem to be moving out of the COVID-19 crisis, the New Jersey School Boards Association plans to develop a video compilation to document this time in our state’s education history, and ensure that the voices of educators and students are heard and remembered.
The NJSBA is soliciting video entries from K-12 public school students, teachers, district staff and administrators, asking them to reflect on the unexpected times of joy and resilience during a deeply disruptive era, as well as the lessons learned, and their hopes as a new school year approaches.
Video submissions can be new or previously recorded footage that dates back to earlier in the pandemic. They can include solo or group performances via TikTok, poetry, rap, singing or words from the heart. Some questions to prompt your students might include:
- How have you grown during the pandemic, and what did you learn about yourself?
- What will you remember the most?
- What skills have you gained as a result of remote learning?
- What do wish never to repeat again?
- What did you miss the most during virtual schooling?
- Were there any silver linings from this time?
School administrators and staff are also invited to share what they have discovered about themselves, their students and their staff. Maybe as an administrator, you rode a decorated yellow school bus to hand-deliver dozens diplomas to your graduating seniors last year. Perhaps your district hosted an outdoor tented prom, or your teachers created an entertaining video to reach their remote-learning students to show how much they missed them?
The three-minute or less video submissions should entail experiences, concerns and inspiration gained. Videos should be submitted online by Friday, July 23. Student entries must include a release form signed by a parent or legal guardian.
The NJSBA may use select entries for promotional purposes, resulting in internal and external coverage through a variety of communication channels including online platforms, social media, broadcast and publications.
The New Jersey School Boards Association is a federation of the state’s local boards of education and includes the majority of New Jersey’s charter schools as associate members. NJSBA provides training, advocacy and support to advance public education and promote the achievement of all students through effective governance.