Education in a Post-Pandemic World

Steven WeberBlog, Lead Better


  • To prepare for education in a post-pandemic world, there are a number of questions that school teams should consider.
  • These questions range from reflecting on how schools will look in the future, what we have learned about equity and the needs of our students, trauma-informed schools and classrooms, master schedules, social-emotional learning, and more.

Uncertainty and disruption are two words commonly used to describe the 2020-2021 school year. As we begin 2021, some students are returning to campus for the first time this school year.  Schools in the United States and abroad have provided multiple learning environments, including virtual, hybrid, classroom, and outdoor learning. Planning for teaching and learning in a post-pandemic world will require multiple perspectives.

Don't wait until next year to begin reflecting on how your school will support the needs of teachers and students in a post-pandemic world. Click To Tweet

Throughout the school year, teacher teams have reflected on how to navigate uncharted waters, often moving down the river without a paddle. “Strong leaders quickly get comfortable with widespread ambiguity & chaos, recognizing that they do not have a crisis playbook. Instead, they commit themselves & their followers to navigating point-to-point through the turbulence, adjusting, improvising, and redirecting” (Koehn, 2020).

While the future of K-12 education is uncertain, there will be lessons learned from this unprecedented point in history. Will your school team be prepared to reopen schools and meet the needs of each learner in a post-pandemic world? Questions can provide a launchpad for designing the schools of the future.  What lessons did we learn during the pandemic and how can we plan for schooling in a post-pandemic world?

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Education in a Post-Pandemic World: Questions for School Teams

  1. What will schools look like in the future?
  2. What have we learned about equity and the needs of our students?
  3. How will we create trauma-informed schools and classrooms?
  4. Will schedules and master schedules reflect the changing needs of students?
  5. Will we need more social workers to support students and families?
  6. Which options are available for credit recovery and enrichment?
  7. How will our school staff support social and emotional learning?
  8. Will we need to design new school calendars and school models?
  9. What are the top 3-5 needs of students in our grade level?
  10. How will we design systems to meet the needs of each learner in a post-pandemic world?

During a crisis there’s a risk that your entire organization gets so focused on keeping the ship afloat that no one is planning ahead. Therefore, you should assign a small team of highly talented people to devise the post-crisis strategy” (George, 2009, p. 117).

When educators focus on answering questions, we may find powerful answers that lead to the schools of the future. While uncertainty and disruption may provide more questions than answers, school teams will benefit from professional conversations about supporting students in a post-pandemic world.

Throughout history, school communities have experienced inclement weather, forest fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, and terroristic acts. Schools and communities have rebuilt, asked questions, and gathered a team to identify the next steps for supporting learners. Don’t wait until next year to begin reflecting on how your school will support the needs of teachers and students in a post-pandemic world.

About Steven Weber

Dr. Steven Weber is the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning with Fayetteville Public Schools (AR). His areas of research include curriculum design, formative assessment, professional learning, and school leadership.