Navigating Education through A New Pandemic

MetroMorphosisBlog, BRLeads, Think Pieces

Written by: Moon Muhammad

On March 13th, in the midst of an unrelenting course collaboration, we got word that the governor had announced school closures. To be fair, only a handful of first – year teachers had gotten the word at my school and had naturally taken to the halls to showcase their exuberant happiness by executing a number of sprints. Covid – 19 had arrived in Louisiana and the governor was scrambling to take precaution.

A little over two months have passed since teachers were freed of their structural compounds to embark on the unsteady walk of Distance Learning.  While there are many important things to note about education during this time of Covid – 19, and the future of education because of it, there are items that top the list. They are as follows: 

  1. Education is a priority: Millions of teachers rallied together across this nation learning to operate, utilize, and distribute distance learning within two weeks of going on lock – down. A triumph over fear and uncertainty that should never lose its glory.
  2. Education is classist: With the switch of education prompting the sole reliance on technology, a blinding light was cast on the haves and have nots. This display of privilege could not be easily ignored and prompted both school personnel and community organizers to funnel resources in order to situate every student for success. This move by community members yet again showcased that equity is the needed foundation to dismantle systemic injustice.
  3. Education is racist: Emerged in American politics and white supremacy, education has always been steeped in racial preference. This notion was further exploited when Covid – 19 arrived and systemic oppression became even more transparent. Because of an international pandemic, we saw that community officials can leverage state resources to provide equity to all students when it is seen as the only avenue. During the upcoming years, it will be our responsibility to ensure all students are provided for, not because we are amid a global frenzy, but because it is their right.
  4. Education is sustainable: Providing all students with quality and culturally relevant education not only equips them with the ammunition of knowledge but prepares them to become life – long learners. This preparation does not only sustain an individual but prompts the excelling of a community and thus, in turn, a nation. Education is the only catalyst that will provide the necessary foundation for an equitable future.

This falls to all of us. As an educator, I am taking a self – pledge to ensure that all my resources are available on diverse platforms. The idea of a classist education system is not new to me, but it is not enough to be aware – what actions steps do we take after? What actions steps have you taken? 

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This article was written as part of a series written by alumni of the Urban Leadership Development Initiative and featured in their online community, BR Leads. Each author seeks to address an element of an urban environment and how adaptive leaders can thrive in the current climate. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of MetroMorphosis or its strategies.

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