• Natalie Hawkins

Uncertainty in Education: Back to School “Pandemic Style”

August 21, 2020 I am a music therapist in special education. After a scramble-to-virtual learning last semester, teams of service providers are returning to the office with an excitement to be back in person. After the initial excitement faded, however, a different murmur in the office arose- one of confusion, anxiety, and an overall feeling of inadequacy for delivering services in this new normal. In between team zoom meetings, I am navigating the new world of Canvas and learning how to create meaningful virtual resources for clients: “First of all, how do I log in? What will resources look like? How can I be sure clients are engaged? How can engagement be measured with at-home-learning? Will I be able to assist my clients’ therapeutic goals virtually? Am I doing this right?” ^^^^^^^^^^ (Some of my actual thoughts on a daily basis)

There are so many questions to be ​answered,​ and so many I haven’t thought to ​ask.​ Administration is handling these questions with a sense of urgency and professionalism. If your administration is not responsive- advocate for your department while still understanding they are feeling a lot of pressure, too. We are all doing our best. Let’s continue to show each other grace as professionals and people. The world looks different, education looks different, and services look different now, too. There are many uncertainties that come with a new school year in the midst of a pandemic, however, there are ​some​ certainties we can cling to! Service providers will still do their due diligence to provide services however their expertise allow. Services may be virtual sessions, or providing resources to teachers or parents, or something totally different- but services will still be provided, whether a pandemic is happening or not. ​That​ is always for certain. In this era of uncertainty, let’s try to focus on the good and the certainties- and know that we will be okay.

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