Posted on: Tue, 12/08/2020 - 09:00

This verb is one of the most frequently used words during the COVID-19 crisis—and that is a good thing!

Evolve is defined as “to develop gradually, from a simple to a more complex form.” When I consider the various ways I have heard this word used during this pandemic crisis, it truly does epitomize how we have adapted in the last year.

Safety protocols have evolved. Treatments for COVID-19 have evolved. Guidance for schools has evolved. Yet, my favorite example of how we have evolved relates to instruction.

I’ve spoken with numerous teachers who excel at quality classroom instruction. They shared how they have evolved their instructional practices, their resources, and their feedback processes for students. Even their classroom set-up evolved. It makes me so proud to hear their stories because it speaks to the essence of personal growth and continuous improvement—none of which occurs unless a person is willing to evolve.

The other commonality in the stories that teachers share about evolving their practices is collaboration. Teachers reaching out to colleagues to share ideas, learning new tools, or brainstorming innovative problem-solving techniques. Collaboration has been a critical element in supporting teachers as they evolve their instructional practices.

While the definition of evolve notes that it happens gradually, it also happens because of significant effort and hard work. Teachers faced a huge learning curve as we transitioned to a fully virtual model for instruction. Over the last three months, they have spent countless hours learning, creating, revising, and delivering for students. It takes tremendous energy to evolve!

I am incredibly proud of the teachers in FCPS who have been unwavering in evolving their craft to implement a virtual instructional program to meet the needs of students. They are to be commended. They are true exemplars of what it means to evolve in a crisis!