January 5, 2021

2020 Silver Linings and Hope for 2021

One of the biggest and best belly-laughs I’ve had this year was when I read this Twitter post in March 2020:  

Tweet By Shonda

After finishing “LOLing,” I thought about the role educators play in the fabric of society. Not surprisingly, in a survey by Osmo, 80% of U.S. parents have a newfound respect for teachers as a result of stay-at-home orders. Not only are parents and families appreciating teachers more, but students are, too, as seen in this video.

SILVER LINING 1: We Have a Renewed Appreciation and Respect for Teachers 

With the heartbreaking loss of life, the pandemic has been devastating. As human beings experiencing grief and loss, it is important to reflect and to seek glimmers of hope as we move into 2021. Beyond the gains in respect and appreciation for teachers, below are some pandemic “silver linings” and our hopes for 2021.  

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SILVER LINING 2We Can See the Stars 

According to this article from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) the Covid-19 lockdown has helped the environment “bounce back” with environmental pollution down 30%. Beyond the obvious advantages of less pollution, there has been an improvement in our ability to see the stars at night. This article from the Minneapolis Star & Tribune explains how Voyageurs National Park, on the Minnesota-Canadian border, was recently certified by the International Dark Sky Association as a Dark Sky Park. Certification comes when the ability to see stars in the night sky is exceptional.  

SILVER LINING 3We Are Growing Gardens 

Another silver lining has been the increase in the popularity of gardening, and the powerful impact gardening makes on our mental health. According to the International Association of Horticulture Producers, gardening provides a place for experiencing nature, improves mental health, cognitive functioning and emotional well-being. Beyond these benefits, gardening is shown to reduce depression, anxiety, obesity and heart disease while creating a sense of community, improving quality of life, pride in growing your own food, and recovery from sickness. If you’re short on green space, grow a windowsill garden, or plant seeds in a pot. This book “How to Grow Your Dinner Without Leaving Your House,” can help. That is quite a return on your investment. Let’s hear it for gardening!  

Beyond our renewed appreciation and respect for teachers, the environmental comeback and growing gardens, there are other silver linings, too… 

Hope for 2021… 

What are you hopeful for in 2021? Eating at a restaurant? Going to a movie? Time with family? For students to be back in school? Although 2020 carried with it some inevitable silver linings, we at Learners Edge wish you good health, continued gratitude for the work you do for children and families, and of course, for this global pandemic to end. 

Here’s to 2021! 

For lesson plans about the environment, astronomy and gardening, click here.

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