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In the world of education, it’s as though an earthquake happened. Overnight, the familiar features of classroom life — schools, teachers, friends and routines — simply disappeared for children. Everything became topsy-turvy. Children were confined to their homes for seemingly interminable stretches of time. It became hard to communicate with anyone outside the family, and new technology tools became centrally important, whether kids knew how to use them or not. The future was uncertain and frightening.
Trapped, sometimes disoriented and anxious about an unclear future, children now need communication, support and guidance from educators. They need help navigating turbulent waters in these confusing times. Their circumstances, assets, resilience and needs vary so widely that any “one-size-fits-all” approach to student support is destined to fail. To address the widespread diversity in our student population, we must give each child a navigator, someone to hold her hand and guide her into a place where she is seen, known, understood, supported and provided with customized opportunities to learn.
Continued health threats and disruption make it essential that every child have such an adult navigator. Teachers already have the responsibility to check in with children and lead them to learning opportunities; in transforming …
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