• Jacqueline Leighton

Please let 2021 be better!

On new year's eve I reflected on the past year. Some of it was good but starting in March 2020, there was quite a bit that was not so good. I guess 2020 will always remain the year of COVID. Instead of COVID-19, it really should be named COVID-20 or something else to mark its unfortunate association with the year it appeared.

As I head back to teaching this winter, I have to say that I miss very much being face to face with students. Much is lost when people do not have the opportunity to be within a shared, relational and, yes, physical space. Zoom is a very poor substitute for the quality of conversations that can be had when people share a common, physical space. Digital technology has not yet advanced to a point where the stream of conversation seems effortless. I miss seeing student faces and reading their expressions. I miss reading body language and being able to use my reading of the room to retrace my steps to cover a statement that might have puzzled some.

I hope that future teaching terms are not restricted to remote delivery. Yes remote delivery has a place and is an avenue for increasing options in teaching. But, in my view, it still cannot replace the quality of relationships that can be formed when people share a real space. I hope that in September 2021, I can once again walk into a physical space with students and partake in the atmosphere that has become a place where we come together to talk about child and adolescent development and learning. We'll see. I am reminded of a quote from one of my favourite movies, Shawshank Redemption, about hope: ANDY: Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.