LISTEN — Class Disrupted S3 E1: Back-to-School During COVID-19 — What’s on a School Leader’s Shopping List?

Michael Horn and Diane Tavenner host the season opener of Class Disrupted in front of a live audience at the 2021 ASU-GSV Summit. (YouTube)

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Class Disrupted is a bi-weekly education podcast featuring author Michael Horn and Summit Public Schools’ Diane Tavenner in conversation with educators, school leaders, students and other members of school communities as they investigate the challenges facing the education system amid this pandemic — and where we should go from here. Find every episode by bookmarking our Class Disrupted page or subscribing on Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher (new episodes every other Tuesday).

As we enter a third year of schools being hugely impacted by COVID-19, we’re pleased to announce the launch of a third season of the Class Disrupted podcast. Recorded in front of a live audience — for the first time — at the ASU/GSV Summit, this opening episode explores a unique twist to the tradition of back-to-school shopping as students begin heading back to school both in person and remotely. What might school leaders be looking to buy as they prepare to launch a new school year in these extraordinary times? Tavenner and Horn explore the top five wants on the list, and realize that they might not be able to find everything they need.

Listen to the episode below. A full transcript follows.

Michael: Welcome, everyone to Season 3 of Class Disrupted! We’re having a blast being in-person for the first time. Diane, we started this podcast originally to try to help parents and educators make sense of all the changes going on around them due to the pandemic, but also to take a pause and consider what we might do to transform schooling more broadly.

Diane: Indeed, Michael. And I think when we first started, we were both very hopeful that we would see the pandemic as a catalyst for some big change right out of the gate. That didn’t materialize, and we spent most of last season just tracking as people were simply trying to make it through. But as we launch this third season, I think we have that hope back again that we might see some of the change we’ve both been advocating for.

Michael: Yeah. And so as we explore these changes, we have different things that we want to hone in on and amplify more for folks. We thought we would start today with a question of what’s on your back-to-school shopping list? And that may sound like a bit of a bizarre question, but it occurred to us as we were planning for this, that school leaders across the country right now are in very different circumstances. We know things are still not back to “normal” by any stretch of the imagination, and they are going to be looking for different things to help them through. And at a conference like this at the ASU/GSV Summit, thinking about what are those things that you would like to be able to buy and where’s the market stepping up and delivering versus maybe not would be a worthwhile conversation to have. So with that as prelude, let’s dive in, what is on your list? I’m dying to know what are the pain points?

Diane: Well, Michael, I think all good lists are made on pink Post-it notes. So I’ve got my top five here that I want to share with you. And I’m super curious to hear what you think about these. So, number one has to be, in my view, any system or school district that doesn’t yet have one-to-one devices and bandwidth at home for kids, that’s got to be the top of the list. And I think a lot of us are there, and the pandemic certainly was a catalyst. We started Class Disrupted by talking to Evan Marwell about this. And I’m really excited. I think we’ve made significant progress in the last 18 months, but for those who aren’t there yet, this has to be number one. Every kid needs a device, every kid needs bandwidth.

Michael: And I do think that it’s fundamentally different, right? We know that we’re still not where we need to be by any stretch of the imagination, but it feels attainable, as in the technology is clearly there, it exists. We know what we need to do. There are dollars likely moving through the stimulus right now to help it. As we know, the Senate voted literally this morning on the trillion dollar stimulus. And so there is progress, I think, against that. I am more optimistic, I think, than I was even six months ago on this count.

Diane: I am, too. And I will say as a system that’s been there for quite some time, I just think it’s table stakes for what we need to do and how we need to — this is paper, pencil, textbook in this modern age.

Michael: It is. And it’s actually, just to double click on that before we go on to your second point, because I do think that there’s been an evolution on this, and certainly in my own view, but I think in the views of many, which is it’s the trapper keeper, right, of the 21st century. It’s just table stakes. And yeah, that actually means a lot of individuals will pay for it, but where they can’t, the school systems need to step up and provide it, because it’s just awfully hard to function in today’s world without it. For their parents, let alone them, as students, trying to figure out how to succeed in this society.

Diane: Indeed, indeed. So that’s number one.

Michael: All right. So what’s number two on your list?

Diane: Okay, number two is, I’m going to call this loosely, tools. Here’s what I’m looking for, tools to support social emotional learning and development. But let me just be… I have some very specific criteria here. One, these tools need to really bring together the science of learning, and development, and human development. They need to integrate them in, that science, in a way that really is trauma informed, that’s centering students of color, that makes it easy to incorporate in the day-to-day lives and routines of teachers and students at school, and that help with connectivity and connection, human connection. And I’m not confused by tools that got the SEL stickers slapped on them, because that’s the hot new term. We need supports that really help people translate that science into practice in a very pragmatic and practical way.

Michael: I want to dig a little bit deeper on this, because I think there are tools out there and curriculums, as you said, right, for trauma, for example, right? There are good online curriculums for a variety of these things, Ripple Effects come to mind, and some of these others. There’s interesting programs out there, Sewn to Grow, I think, is one that helps you set goals, right, and do some of this, more on the habits of success side, perhaps. But it sounds like you’re saying actually integrated with the day to day routines of the classroom, itself.

Diane: I think that’s right. In the interactions, we’ve talked a lot about how we think time needs to be repurposed and reused. And so thinking more broadly about the experiences in community and in school on a daily basis, look, we’ve all read the reports, hundreds and thousands of kids lost to the system over the last 18 months. Well, they’re lost because they have no connection, they have no human connection. And so I want to push us to be thinking about social emotional development in the context of relationship and connection, which is something that schools haven’t necessarily focused on.

Michael: Yeah. And it’s not something that the market, I think, has good answers for today. I’m curious as you think about it, are these going to be interwoven into the curricular tools themselves? Do they stand apart? Are they about setting up systems and routines? Where does this sit as I think about it as a teacher or an administrator trying to figure out how to even integrate this idea?

Diane: I do think there is some integration into curriculum, certainly some of this should live there, but that’s not where I’m looking right now. I’m looking for how am I structuring my time and my experience on a day-to-day basis? How am I working that into a routine that ultimately builds relationship, connection, and skill?

Michael: All right. So if we felt good on the first, I think we both feel like there’s a huge hole in the second. And probably a lot of definition and work to do with listening to teachers to understand what is the need.

Diane: I think that’s right.

Michael: All right. So number three.

Diane: All right. Number three. Okay. I’m just going to remind us of what a technology is, the definition, before I ask for this one, all right? Because people will be like, “What are you talking about?” A technology is the application of scientific knowledge to a practical problem or application. So I’m shopping for a new grading policy.

Michael: A new grading policy. Say more.

Diane: So a number of people have been working for a number of years on thinking about whether it be graduate profiles, or mastery transcripts, or things like that. And what folks are going for there is the right idea. They’re going for actually measuring mastery versus a snapshot in time. Did you learn this in this moment, at this time?

Michael: And by the way, it might conflate whether you were on time, if you turned in your homework, et cetera.

Diane: Right. Exactly. And so we’re going in the right direction there. But what we are missing is in the practical running of a school district, a school network, a school, what really dominates is the grading policy. And this is one of those structural elements of education that is deeply flawed and needs to be rethought. So whether any of us like it or not, we’re still in an A to F system in this country, a system that drives all of the wrong behaviors around all kids, actually learning and mastering important skills and concepts. It’s one of the most inequitable parts of our system, where a certain small number of kids actually benefit from other kids not learning and getting lower grades. And so I want a grading policy that can be implemented school wide, system wide, network wide, connected to higher ed, that will drive the right behaviors that people will buy into. We need the full new policy.

Michael: So first let me reflect on the market. I think that there’s things out there that could do aspects of what you’re saying, but not the whole. I think particularly like Mastery Track, incredible tool to help — an individual teacher even — move to a mastery based system, mastery transcript consortium, really representing a student’s achievements in a mastery based way and showing the portfolio of work for college purposes. Jump Rope, there’s things out there that start to get at this. But it sounds like you’re going after a much bigger hole of replacing really those grades for parents. It’s interesting. I want to tell you a story that I had an experience with recently, and just get your take on it. So this is not my first in-person conference since the pandemic. I have to be honest here. First one was in Boston. It was Learn Launch. We had a little consultancy. I feel like I’m admitting something.

Diane: I know, I’m like, “Were you cheating?”

Michael: Yeah, exactly, right? So we did these consultancies with superintendents and principals, and one was a school from a relatively well-off community in Massachusetts that had moved to mastery based or standards based grading. And there was rebellion from certain families because they didn’t understand it, it was complicated. It was in a middle school. And they felt like when they get to high school, you’re going to have to go to “real grades”, and colleges won’t know what to do with this system. And the whole thing that you’ve heard before. And I guess a takeaway I had was grading, it needs to be changed, but it should be on the backend of a longer change management process of moving to mastery based and so forth first, because it’s so unfamiliar to parents, it’s like organ rejection almost. And so how do we deal? Will your tool help us tackle that? Or how do we deal with that?

Diane: Well, and I think that’s what I’m looking for when I’m talking about a grading policy as the technology, which is the full infrastructure. Because I think that what we both know is when you just rip something out and you don’t have something compelling to replace it, that’s not change, and it’s not going to stick. And also when you bring a tool in that sits outside, or on the edges, or still has to be translated into grades, you’re not actually making the systemic change that you need, the structural change that needs to happen. And so that’s why, in my mind, when I dig in, it’s the policy aspect. So as you know, we’ve developed a mastery based assessment system that we’ve been using for 10 years now. It still gets manually translated into an A to F system, so our kids can get into college. And so I’m pushing myself to think about how do we take the next step?

Michael: So interesting. One more on this just to dimensionalize it. I was reading recently a story of someone who had pulled their child out of the school system because they had some learning challenges, specifically hard of hearing was the issue. And the remote schooling experience was just a non-starter in terms of being able to translate and make it work. And so when the parent was trying to find a curriculum for this fifth grader who had gotten A’s their entire life in math and so forth, and went to find a fifth grade math curriculum, first, they did some diagnostics. And the diagnostics repeatedly from multiple sources showed this student is actually at a third or fourth grade level of math. And so the parent called the teacher and said, “What’s going on?” And they said, “Oh, this is the grading scale for students with learning difficulties. And on that dimension, she’s getting an A.” And I was just thinking, holy cow, we’ve got a lot of work to do.

Diane: Well, what I think you’re surfacing in that story, Michael, is the pervasive problem, which is the A to F system isn’t actually giving anyone good information. And it’s pointing a bunch of people in the wrong direction and giving them bad data and bad information that they’re acting on. And what’s interesting is there’s a lot of work on the other side from folks who are trying to engage with parents where the school will say, “We can’t actually tell parents and get them to understand when their children aren’t performing.” So it goes both directions. And I think rather than assuming it’s flaws in all the humans, I think there’s a flaw in the system.

Michael: In the system itself. As my mentor, Clay Christianson always used to say, “It’s rarely dumb people deciding to do dumb things. It’s normally dumb systems that force smart people to do dumb things.”

Diane: There you go.

Michael: But I wanted to push on this one just because, as you know, and folks who listened to the first season of Class Disrupted will know, grading is my bugaboo. It’s the one that I got the most angry and animated about, and that my mom always appears in these episodes as my foil. But I think it’s a really important issue, because the grading policy, it seems, wouldn’t just solve the problems in the day-to-day classroom experience, but it would also help with the communication and translation part to the parents so that there wouldn’t be outright rebelling.

Diane: Yes. Yes. Yes.

Michael: All right. Let’s get to number four.

Diane: All right. Number four. I’m going to call this one, I’m looking for active learning experiences. I think one of the benefits of the pandemic, if we really look at what was going on, is we saw a significant number of community organizations and community places step up and step in to support our students. As school houses were closing across the country and parents were doing their best, they were seeking opportunities for their kids to keep learning, and growing and developing. There’s a ton of community groups that stepped up and filled really important roles. And I think one common element to what they did is they provided really engaging active learning experiences. And this is what a lot of these groups do and do incredibly well. They do it generally after school and on the weekends because kids are captive in their school buildings during the day.

But I think two beautiful things out of this. One, just reminding us that we always talk about porous schoolhouse walls, and breaking down the barriers between the school and the community. And if this isn’t the reminder and the invitation to really make that happen, I don’t know what is. And two, that there’s so many better ways for kids to be learning in a really active, engaged way than sort of sitting at a desk with paper, pencil, and book. And there’s all these assets that live in our community that we’re not incorporating and integrating into the day-to-day schooling experience for kids. And it’s a huge missed opportunity.

Michael: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. One of the things I’ve been gratified by out of the pandemic so far is that it seems like a lot of these community organizations you referenced that have stepped up and created these micro schooling environments in places like Boston, and Cleveland, and so forth are going to continue to do that, which I think is tremendous, because it will bring people out of the classroom in many cases, create learning opportunities that count, regardless of where they occur. But as I’m looking at the landscape, Diane, where are you going shopping for your off the shelf software, or tool, or technology for this?

Diane: Well, I knew you were going to ask me that. And we should go back to the if they will count, because I think that we’ll pick that up on the next one, but this has got to be local, I think. And so what’s interesting is I do wonder if there’s a way to think about facilitating this in local communities and contexts, but this really does, this is where education truly is local. There are groups, and assets, and people in local communities that have to be able to work together.

And I think, again, that presents a huge opportunity. I’ve been thinking a lot about this, because we have, as you know, expeditions as part of our program and curriculum. So our kids spend eight weeks out of the year in the community. And as I think about expanding that even more, I’m like, Wow, this is an opportunity for us to not only partner with, but make investments in local groups and local organizations, many of them led by amazing people of color, and help them scale to a place where they really can partner with us and engage with us. There’s a huge mutual benefit opportunity here. But I do think that it is local. Even the Boys and Girls Club, who have really stepped up during the pandemic, they are still a very local organization. So national brand, but really operating on a local scale, I think.

Michael: That makes sense. One of the things that I’m excited about in this area is Big Picture Learning and developed ImBlaze, for example, which helps make these connections to internship opportunities in your local community and things of that nature. Another example, whoyouknow.org, my colleague, Julia Freeland Fisher, at the Christensen Institute, they’ve maintained a lot of these software tools that help with social capital more generally, but it turns out a lot of these are these community-based organizations, right, and connecting into, often it’s career pathing, but I don’t think it has to be, opportunities in the community.

So I do think that if, number one, we were like, Yeah, we’ve got that one. Number two. We were like, Not really at all. Number three, Not really at all. This one, I feel like there is some traction on it. What I’m worried about is, I guess, how do we keep the momentum as we come out of the pandemic? Because what I guess I’m most worried about is there aren’t funding streams that are dedicated to this in schooling, and the way we fund schools, as you know, prioritizes seat time. And so I don’t know, how will we keep that ecosystem thriving?

Diane: Well, I’m going to take that one, and see you, and then raise you into the fifth thing on my list. So what’s interesting is, you’re right, there’s not dedicated funding streams, but for the next three years, there is quite a bit of money flowing into school systems to fund the non-traditional after-school and out of school sort of things. And so I think it would be interesting for school leaders and as one I am certainly thinking about how to leverage those monies over the next couple of years. Now we’ve got a cliff problem that we’ve got to deal with. So I think we have to invest wisely, build capacity.

Michael: Right, we don’t want to build piers, we want bridges.

Diane: Exactly. And I do think that there’s an opportunity there that exists.

Michael: Perfect. Should we hit number five on your list?

Diane: Yeah, because number five for me brings all this together and makes it possible. I’m not sure I’m going to win a lot of friends on this one, but what I’m shopping for is, I’m going to call it a learning platform. And all the people out there are going to be like, “Oh, LMS’s, we’ve got all these LMS’s.” No, no, they’re not good. They’re just not good.

Michael: Okay. Tell me more, because you’re right, there’s probably a bunch of people outside this room that are not going to be excited by that.

Diane: Here’s my experience as someone who’s leading schools, running schools, in schools. They’re very rudimentary in nature. They weren’t actually designed with the student experience in mind and at the center.

Michael: Well, and actually we can pause there for a moment, right? Because these are an outgrowth of higher ed, and they were course management systems, not learning management systems, right?

Diane: Right.

Michael: LMS was a good brand, but not necessarily indicative of what they actually did.

Diane: Right. Which means they’re about adults and they’re not about kids. And so what’s really missing from them, and I think we saw this across the board in the pandemic, because schools and systems that didn’t have these before had to implement them in some sort of way, shape, or form, because everyone’s out of the building and how are you keeping in contact and whatnot. And what we saw and heard if anyone was listening, from kids and parents, is a very incoherent, a very unfriendly, a very confusing system that doesn’t actually make a lot of sense from my seat and where I sit. And so I think what I want in a learning platform or system is, first, it has to be designed starting from what is the student experience? And what we need to be aiming for, higher ed might be different, but when we’re talking about developing humans and developing skills, we need to create a coherent experience for that student.

They should not be going to six different adults a day who have totally different systems that they have to manage, and navigate, and learn. They should have a coherent experience where the friction that is caused by having to switch norms, and rules, and platforms, and tools, and all of that is eliminated so that they can really deeply focus on the learning and the development, and the learning and development is consistent across the experiences. There is a common vocabulary, there’s a common set of skills that you’re building over time. And that’s what the system needs to be thinking about and oriented to. And I think there’s a whole bunch of things that happen in a learning platform when you begin by designing from that perspective.

Michael: Yeah. So I love so much of what you just said, and my brain is firing in a bunch of different directions. It occurs to me that that coherence piece, though, and I just want to center on that for a moment, was one of the most frustrating parts of the learning experience for people during the pandemic, of trying to deal with log-ins, deal with disparate systems, deal with 10 ways to log into different things and so forth. But what’s interesting about it is, I would say the lack of coherence is one of the biggest reasons. Reading scores and achievement is the way it is in this country, even before the pandemic. The lack of synergy between different courses, creating more interdisciplinary experiences that speak together, codifying so that you’re moving coherently and allow for deeper learning, as opposed to a fragmented learning experience of jumping across seven different periods and so forth. I think that actually, what we experienced is an outgrowth of something much deeper in a lot of school systems that we need to unpack.

Diane: I couldn’t agree more. And what I think happened was it just got brought home. And so what our students are experiencing every day and in their reality suddenly is laid bare, and parents now are having to try, and they’re like, “This is insane. This doesn’t make any sense. What is happening here?” Right? And kids are like, “Yeah, welcome to my world. This is what I do every day, right. I just did it in person before, and now we’re trying to do it at home.”

Michael: Right, and you didn’t have to see all of my frustrations.

Diane: And some of them think it’s even better, because they’re like, “Look, I can’t really walk out of a classroom, but I can turn my camera off and walk out of your virtual room, right.”

Michael: Yep.

Diane: We have to listen to them and hear what they’re telling us.

Michael: Yeah. No, I think seeing what people do with their time is one of the most important understandings of motivation. So something you said on that front, though, I think is interesting, where you said maybe higher ed is different. I actually don’t think it is all that different. And-

Diane: I’m glad you said that, because I was cutting them some slack, but they probably don’t deserve that.

Michael: I don’t think they deserve it. But for those that don’t know, Diane and I sit on the board of Minerva University, which is newly accredited, which is exciting. And what’s interesting about that experience, and you get to live it because your son is going to be a sophomore, it’s not just the active learning platform that creates the class experience, but it’s the way that they have thoughtfully categorized and been super intentional about the skills that you are building between all of the learning experiences, regardless of what the content or domain is.

Diane: Exactly.

Michael: It’s reinforcing these skills that are commonly understood and defined across all learning experiences.

Diane: Exactly. I think that’s a really nice segue into how I think my whole list ties together. So if we have a learning platform that does what we’re describing, it has the ability to have an infrastructure around the most important skills that our kids, let’s call it a common assessment system, that translates across subject areas, across years in school, that kids are developing these skills over time and over years. And that there’s consistency and growth in that. It has the ability to track that and to facilitate that. It has the ability to integrate these active learning experiences and give credit and acknowledge them and integrate them into the experience. And quite frankly, it has the grading policy that we’re talking about, the ability to do that. And oh, by the way, it’s made possible if everyone has a one-to-one device and bandwidth everywhere they go. And so there is a method to my madness, to my list.

Michael: So I have two things that I want to pick on. One is something that wasn’t on your shopping list. I didn’t hear traditional curriculum around math, and science, and ELA, and social studies, and things of that nature. What’s going on there, why not?

Diane: Ooh. Probing. All right. Didn’t even come to mind. So now I’m reflecting.

Michael Horn: That’s telling. Yeah.

Diane: I’m thinking, “Why not?” And here’s what’s coming, here’s what I think the reasons are. I think there’s a few. One, look, whatever curriculum we were going to use or buy, we did so in the last 18 months, really. So that’s not on the top of my list right now for that reason. Number two, I am deeply focused on returning teachers and students to in-person learning and moving in that direction. And I’m really focused on the relationships, and the culture, and the community, and the connection that has been so lost and broken during the pandemic. And so, as I think about the very precious professional development time and whatnot at the start of the year, that’s where I’m putting my energy. And so if you’re going to bring in a new curriculum, you have to invest everything in that. So this is not the moment to be doing that. And I think that my observation is people are not only tired and burnt out from what they’ve been through, but Delta’s making them afraid.

And so we’re just grappling with a lot of that right now. And when you take on a new curriculum, you have to be in a good space to do that. And so it’s not on my list right at the moment. And then Michael, I would be remiss to not say, and maybe we’ll have a longer conversation about this, but if you’re a teacher in this country right now, you’re getting a lot of messages about what you’re allowed to teach, and what you’re not allowed to teach, and what you’re allowed to say, and what you’re not allowed to say. And it’s an uncomfortable place to be in.

Michael: Yeah. No, no, that’s totally fair. Let’s come back to that one in a future episode. But I want to spend another moment on why curriculum isn’t on, not just your list, but I think a lot of people’s lists right now, which is something you said upfront, which is when people rushed to the remote and knew online and digital was going to be a much bigger piece of what they were doing, people made those decisions. Right, and so I don’t think we’re going to see as much switching as people might expect, even with the flood of dollars coming into the system from the federal government over the next, certainly 12 months, maybe it’ll reevaluate next year, but I don’t expect it in this one.

Diane: I think that’s right.

Michael: Yeah. One other thing that you pulled off, and I’m going to tease this just because I know that your head is here a little bit, and this will be a future episode, but the human capital. You’ve talked about professional development for teachers, you talked about exhaustion. A lot of what you’re talking about is restorative in nature in some ways, like trying to bring energy back in. Where are teachers in all of this right now at this moment, and how do they factor into a lot of this shopping list, if you will?

Diane: So I think a lot of teachers, and I’m going to add into that bucket, a group that hasn’t really gotten any attention or love and deserves a lot of it, which is school leaders, quite frankly. The vast majority of them are so excited and happy to be back with kids, and trying to make this work and move forward. And so I don’t want to lose sight of that. And the reality is, for the last couple of weeks, we and everyone else I know who runs a system have had daily resignations.

Michael: Daily resignations of teachers.

Diane: Yeah. And what I think we’re seeing from the conversations we’re having is for some people, the closer it gets to actually the reality of going back, that fear is really taking over. And they can’t imagine themselves doing that again. And the other reality, which is, as you said, a lot of money has flooded into the system. A lot of it is for tutoring and supports. And so there are a number of job opportunities that don’t normally exist for teachers where they can go do meaningful work in much more flexible ways, often at home, et cetera. And so that thing that often ties them is not there anymore, there’s opportunity. And so we are seeing that happening, and we are not the only ones, I can assure you of that. And so I think that over the next few weeks, we’re going to see in a number of systems that this is not normal teacher shortage stuff. This is profoundly of this moment. And I think it’s going to really impact how people are able to operate their schools.

Michael: It’s a super interesting moment. We talked about what’s the job of teacher in the last season, right? And some of the rules around teaching, and expectations, and things of that nature. It’s interesting, because there’s a viable alternative right now in effect. In some ways, it’s not too dissimilar from, I think, what a lot of employers are seeing across the country. As you know, I spend most of my time with Guild Education. And this is a dynamic that when we partner with employers creating a more attractive place for people to work, right, with opportunity, that is upward opportunity for them, that will lift their families, is something big on their minds. And we’re seeing this across the country right now. And it’s not just the fact that there was more unemployment insurance out there, for example. It’s something deeper and more structural, I think. And the teacher dynamic, it sounds like is different in certain respects, but in some ways there’s overlap.

Diane: I think there’s overlap. And again, let me go back to the school leaders and the systems leaders, because for those folks who are tracking this, a lot of those folks are leaving, too.

Michael: Well, so double click on that, because I remember, and this is true at the university level as well, a lot of presidents have been saying, “It’s been an exhausting 18 months, I’m out.”

Diane: And these are mission-driven folks who are deeply committed to the work, and it’s very painful for them to leave. And what I’m noticing, especially at the leadership level, is there’s no way for them to succeed. You feel completely set up for failure? Everyone’s mad at them. No one is happy, and it’s exhausting. I can tell you, I have worked harder in the last 18 months than I’ve ever worked in my life. And I am never accused of not being a hard worker. And when you’re doing that, and you feel like you’re failing every day, and you’ve got people yelling at you, and calling you names, and going to board meetings and saying you should be fired, at some point you’re like, “Ugh, enough’s enough.” And I think that’s real.

Michael: That’s going to be such an interesting dynamic through all this, because like we said, if things are not back to normal, as I think a lot of people had hoped, even if schools are, and although there was just results from ed week this morning, showing that a significantly number, higher number, are going to hybrid learning for next year. So we’ll have to track that over time. But at minimum, I think a lot of the quarantining and periods of time where people are remote again will be a part of the equation. And it’s going to create a lot more stress.

Diane: We’ve got about 10 more conversations to have, it looks like over the next few months, because there’s a whole bit going on about attendance that is coming.

Michael: Attendance is going to be… Well, so right, teacher shortage. And if there’s the student shortage, the dynamics could be disrupted in some really interesting ways and create some interesting opportunities.

Diane: Indeed.

Michael Horn: And so maybe we’ll leave it there. And thank you all for joining us live at ASU/GSV Summit for Class Disrupted.

Michael Horn is the author of numerous books on the future of learning including Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns. He works with a portfolio of organizations to help transform education so that all individuals can build their passions and fulfill their potential.

Diane Tavenner is CEO of Summit Public Schools and co-founder of the Summit Learning Program. She is a life-long educator, innovator, and the author of Prepared: What Kids Need for a Fulfilled Life.

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