Preparing to Reopen: Six Principles That Put Equity at the Core

This article was originally published in Getting Smart on May 20, 2020, by Eric Tucker and Lindsay Kruse.

“This pandemic has shaken up the status quo and laid bare a lot of our country’s deep-seated problems from massive economic inequality to ongoing racial disparities to a lack of basic healthcare for people who need it. It’s woken a lot of young people up to the fact that the old ways of doing things don’t work. … Because with so much uncertainty, with everything suddenly up for grabs, this is your generation’s world to shape.”

Former President Barack Obama, Graduate Together, May 16, 2020

In a recent podcast, researcher Brene Brown suggested other fields can learn from the aptly named soccer move “settling the ball.” This technique involves bringing the ball down, getting it under control, and then assessing the field to determine the best play.

The analogy hits home for educators in the COVID-19 world. School communities quickly shifted to remote learning, ensuring basic needs of safety and security in an uncertain time. Now educators face another challenge: getting ready to open schools with looming public health risks, wider learning gaps, and heightened trauma and social-emotional needs. To do this right, we must settle the ball.