In my journal this week, I used these prompts. In 2019… In 2020… In 2021… I wrote a paragraph or two for each. Here’s a snippet:
In 2019, we were blissfully unaware of COVID-19, social distancing, and quarantining. We walked into stores, workplaces, and our family members’ homes without a mask or even the thought of one. We often greeted each other with hugs; we parted with hugs, too. We traveled and attended theatre. We gathered at Christmas as we had every year prior: opened Christmas crackers, enjoyed a feast, shared gifts, laughs, and most of all the company of those we love. In 2019, we looked forward to the year ahead.
In 2020, life changed. Normal changed. We were asked to stay home to protect ourselves and others. We watched more television than ever before. We canceled holidays. We worked from home. We learned countless computer skills and platforms to help us survive and connect, teach and learn. We experienced Zoom fatigue. We witnessed the heroics of health care workers, day after day in increasingly challenging circumstances. We watched cases rise, the death toll rise, and knew that each number was attached to a person. In 2020, hope wavered sometimes.
In 2021, I am optimistic that we will receive a vaccine. We will celebrate science and scientists. At some point, we will gather in groups once again. We will sing, pray, talk, learn, and laugh together–in person. Who knows, we might even celebrate Christmas in July. We may begin to travel and return to the theatre. Perhaps we will even read to our students gathered in a reading corner! In 2021, we will look back at 2020 and appreciate all we had once taken for granted.
This year has been unlike any other. Even for our students. Why not try these prompts with them?