#146 – Reflections and Projections

Unpacking Education January 4, 2023 20 min

The new year is a great time to both reflect on this past year while also looking forward to what opportunities are ahead. In the spirit of reflection and growth, the Unpacking Education team recounts the themes that stand out from this past year in education and anticipates the topics and trends they feel will be important in the year to come. The conversation is filled with insights, collegiality, and humor.

Paul Beckermann
PreK–12 Digital Learning Specialist
Rena Clark
STEM Facilitator and Digital Learning Specialist
Dr. Winston Benjamin
Social Studies and English Language Arts Facilitator

It is quite true what philosophy says: that life must be understood backwards. But then one forgets the other principle: that it must be lived forwards.

Søren Kierkegaard, Danish writer and philosopher


The following resources are available from AVID and on AVID Open Access to explore related topics in more depth:

Building a Better Future From the Lessons of the Past

The past is one of our best teachers, and in this episode, we reflect on some of our greatest lessons from this past year. With that as a foundation, we look ahead to how we might build an even better school experience for our students and teachers in 2023. And, of course, there are a few dad jokes sprinkled in, too. The following are some of the highlights from our conversation:

  • Reflections: Several key themes from this past year are shared during the reflection portion of this episode. Some of these include recalibrating normal, learning from our podcast guests, responding to issues of trauma, and learning from the past.
  • Projections: The team is optimistic as it looks toward ideas that can positively shape education in the new year. Themes include just-in-time support and instruction, new on-ramps for our students, improved teacher evaluation, building and designing learning experiences with responsive feedback, injecting fun into learning, and finding the right balance between online and offline learning.
  • Toolkit: This week, the podcast team offers some specific resources for the toolkit. Winston recommends a book by Adeyemi Stembridge. Rena shares information about the Student Achievement Partners’ Coherence Map on achievethecore.org, and Paul suggests revisiting recent Unpacking Education podcast episodes from Dr. Catlin Tucker and Dr. John Spencer.
  • “One Thing”: Each host offers a final takeaway. These include references to the song “Everything Is AWESOME!!!” from The LEGO® Movie, lessons learned from Rafiki in The Lion King, and above all, that we care about kids.

Guiding Questions

If you are listening to the podcast with your instructional team or would like to explore this topic more deeply, here are guiding questions to prompt your reflection:

  • What major themes in education stand out to you as you reflect on this past year?
  • What education topics do you feel will be most important in the upcoming year?
  • What have you learned from your past that can help you build a better future?
  • What will you put in your toolkit for this next year?
  • What is your “one thing” as you reflect and project?

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