Our word for the year is (re)member. There is power in memory, particularly when used in service of progress, personal and collective. Merriam Webster’s definition of the verb is “to bring to mind or think of again.”
One of the outcomes of the pandemic is a more complex relationship with the past. In some cases, life before the pandemic is an increasingly distant memory and that is a hard pill to swallow. In other cases, memory or history has provided guideposts for engaging the current moment. It is a source of inspiration.
Dr. Cynthia Dillard, professor of teacher education also offers a definition of the word. She contends that (re)membering also defines the process of reassembling the parts of a whole. Has the pandemic left you or your life feeling fragmented…distanced from family, friends, or colleagues? In agreement with Dillard, I offer you the practice of remembering to (re)member.
I may date myself, but if a visual example is helpful, think about The Lion King and Simba’s experience at the reflection pond. Mufasa’s guidance, “remember who you are” activated his positive self-image and resulted in the rebuilding of his kingdom. How fitting is that considering the past two years!
As we embark upon 2022, the Education Division will focus on remembering to (re)member ourselves in the following ways:
- Offering innovative solutions for persistent challenges. The pandemic reinforced the power of public media in supporting access to educational programming beyond school walls. This year we will continue to explore datacasting as a viable option for students without adequate broadband access at home to receive instructional materials and support. We will also spend time in our 62-year historical archive, in search of the answers we need to support us in maximizing the present moment.
- Engaging our tween and teenage audiences in transforming the public media landscape, locally and beyond. Dillard encourages educators to “remember the things that we’ve learned to forget.” Do you remember life as an adolescent or teenager? Can you imagine a do over within the context of social media and everything else that comes with this moment? What did you need for your social and emotional learning? These are the questions that we are asking and we will (re)member ourselves by inviting the youth to help us support them in building the future they will inherit.
- Expanding our teacher recertification offerings and professional development services. Our organizational history and mission necessitate this commitment. Because educators are our MVP, we remain committed to doing our part in the village.
- Supporting parents and caregivers in maximizing out-of-school time for positive child and youth development. We also remember and value parents and families as our first teachers. As with formal education, we aim to strengthen the village through engagement and the production of transformative media.
- Cultivating strong partnerships around commitments to lifelong learning. We commit to building ourselves anew by strengthening current relationships and entering new fruitful ones.
We invite you to join us on the journey. Please share your intentions for the new year with us and let us know how we can support you.
Happy New Year, Friends! We are excited to continue to build and promote the joy of learning with you in 2022.