Thriving in Education’s New Normal

Posted August 19, 2020 by Mark Perna

The 2020-21 school year is now upon us, and it promises to be one for the history books. Thanks to coronavirus, we’re all faced with the challenge of doing things we’ve never done, via methods that are being invented (and then reinvented) in real time. With rapid-fire changes happening daily, the “new normal” doesn’t feel normal yet.

But amidst all the disruptions, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed: our passion for investing in the next generation.

This isn’t just about surviving the school year until things get better. No, it’s about embracing the new normal and thriving in it—developing new delivery models, expanding the reach into the home, and welcoming the opportunity to make significant changes. The priceless things we learn and adapt to today will pay dividends for years to come.

This isn’t just about surviving the school year until things get better. No, it’s about embracing the new normal and thriving in it. Click To Tweet

In the new normal, enrollment, retention, and performance are no longer necessarily tied to a physical space—they can now be anywhere, and potentially any time. There will always be a need for in-person instruction, especially where hands-on facilities are required, but by focusing on what’s possible, what’s new, and what our students need, we can forge golden moments, strategies, and advancements in education and workforce development.

No wise old man

The world was already changing prior to COVID-19, but the pandemic has supersized the incredible opportunity to reinvent the focus of education and reshape the goals and outcomes to making students career ready—period.

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Today, there is no “wise old man” with a monopoly on all the knowledge and experience. We’re all on the same playing field, and it’s those who focus, plan, and take action who will lead their communities toward a stronger future.

More than ever, young people need to pursue robust academic knowledge, technical competencies, and professional skills. These three ingredients create the dynamic competitive advantage that young people must possess in today’s new and challenging economy. And you’re on the front lines to deliver it.

The difference you make

There are tremendous challenges before us—but there is also a remarkable opportunity to shift the paradigm in how students, parents, and communities think about education and workforce development. Now is the time to look at things differently, positively, and with an eye towards reinvention, adaptability, and impact. In your classroom, organization, and community, you can choose to make a huge impact on the course of education and how it fuels economic development within your region.

Now is the time to look at things differently, positively, and with an eye towards reinvention, adaptability, and impact. Click To Tweet

Education has a new normal—one that is still changing every day. We can either fight against it and struggle, or embrace it and thrive. Neither road is an easy one, but the journey toward positive change is one that is well worth taking.

As you head back to your classroom (Zoom or otherwise), go with the knowledge that you are making a bigger difference than you may realize. Instead of focusing on the challenges, let’s consider the opportunity. Instead of merely surviving the new normal, let’s thrive in it.

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About The Author
Mark Perna
Mark C. Perna is an international speaker and bestselling author. He also serves as CEO of TFS Results, a strategic consulting firm at the forefront of the national paradigm shift in education and workforce development.
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