March 23, 2020 - this date will be forever etched in my mind. The sudden exodus of students from the normal institution that we call “school” to a home learning environment. Hallways that were full of students were now empty, there seemed to be a sense of “meaninglessness” for those of us who career counsel high school students. There was new terminology like cohorts, remote learning, blended learning; remote teaching, contact tracing etc etc. Teachers were navigating in uncharted waters trying to give some sense to the new way of teaching.
Now fast forward to the Fall of 2020 - and we are no where near normal. The pandemic has changed us. We have learned to be creative via virtual meetings, virtual events, virtual learning. Will we ever experience the normalized instituton we call school again?. Students need to look at this pandemic as a pivotal moment of drastic change in which they will need to adapt, embrace and move in a direction that will allow them to continue learning and striving to reach their goals and dreams. This cannot be looked upon as “woe to me” but as a challenge.
On Sunday Nov 15, 2020 SpaceX launched with 4 young people, their destination - the International Space Station. Were there challenges? - yes; Did they have to overcome obstacles? - yes; Were there disappointments along the way? - yes; Was it hard work? - yes; Did they succeed ? - YES! And that is what counts!
Our job as career counsellors is to be relevant and effective in our communication so that we can help our young people fully engage in knowing that there is hope and opportunity in the years to come. The challenge will be how to accomplish this.