The Potential Positive Impact of the Pandemic

2 teen girls have fun on couch in cozy interior with video games. Enthusiastic smiling teen african american in VR glasses with gamepads, emotional playing in living room, free space

We have spent a great deal of time and analysis talking about the significant negative impact and consequences of COVID-19 over the past few months. It is certain that those issues are real and that we will be in recovery for some time at many levels nationally and globally. At Lakeside we have certainly seen some of this devastation in our students and their families in this past year.

But are there any positives that have come out of these past months? Dr. Jill Grimes, a family physician and Jill Henry, a teacher and author have done some research and published an article in the Hechinger Report on the topic of the positive benefits that have occurred due to the consequences of COVID-19.

Here are a few excerpts from their article:

As this spring’s high school seniors gear up for graduation, there’s a silver lining worth noting: The class of 2021 may be better prepared to take hold of their future than the classes before them.

Prior to the pandemic, transitioning from high school to college or career may have marked the first major life change for most teens. But pandemic seniors faced massive disruptions, disappointment and turmoil this past year, and as a result, could be uniquely strengthened for what lies ahead.

Online-schooling shoved students out of familiar classroom settings straight into independent, self-directed learning. Students had to take full responsibility for their education, making choices about attendance, motivation, engagement and how to limit distractions.

They also gained invaluable experience being resourceful when they didn’t know how to proceed. “We couldn’t stop by and see teachers for help, so we had to get comfortable reaching out through email, but also fending for ourselves if we didn’t hear back,” a senior in Los Angeles told us.

 That left students powering through learning challenges by texting classmates for help, forming Zoom study groups and capitalizing on free internet resources to help clarify difficult material. And while it may have been a rocky path to academic autonomy, the lessons learned will be particularly valuable for those heading to college, where attendance isn’t often tracked, professors are typically only available during office hours or via email and students rely heavily on teaching assistants and one another for support.

As in any human adversity, new opportunities for growth can often emerge in unique ways. As I often say obstacles always create opportunities. We never want to minimize the negative aspects of this pandemic but also it could create some new innovations that will help our students become true overcomers.

For more on these positive outcomes you can look at rest of this article with this link.

Gerry Vassar


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