In this time, there have been many articles about the challenges teachers face adapting to this new reality, challenges managing technology, adapting lessons for online delivery and one-on-one support where needed. Writers have focused attention on inequities of access, accommodations for students with special needs, and parents’ ability to support this work.
The perspective I hadn’t heard was from the students themselves. So I appreciated the opportunity to hear from our teens. They have shared the disconnect they face, watching their teachers struggle with technology that students themselves find easy to navigate and engage the clunky product that results. They expressed frustration in not being able to participate in the solution. In general, they are finding the shift much easier than the adults who are supposed to be leading them. I wonder what might happen if their teachers could tap into their knowledge-base and ideas. How might education expand in truly innovative ways?
As a church, we have also been faced with massive changes. Our church building has been closed, so we are trying a number of new things. As one person observed, as people of faith, we don’t have the option of saying: “The way we have always done it is going to have to work, God.”
What a blessing that we have a way to listen to and learn from our teens. They are writing posts for us and have prepared a wonderful experience of worship for this Sunday. I am grateful for their willingness to engage, and for Emily Badgett’s organization.
I look forward to where they will take us. More than ever, we are being presented with the reality that our young people are not only the church of the future, but that they are the church right now! And they have great insights into the times we are facing.