The Year The Classroom Norms Died

“Everything I did was wrong,” a colleague recently said about her teaching last year. That sentiment probably summarizes a lot of our teaching experience during the 2020–2021 school year.

In the before times, teaching was already difficult. But there was at least we knew what our jobs were — even if they did include a lot of add-on “can’t you justs” and “by the ways.” There was some sort of shared understanding about what teachers could expect of their students and what students could expect of their teachers. Students were expected to physically be at school, and there…