How Students Find Strength Now

An Opinion Project



The education field has been criticized for focusing too narrowly on a set of academic skills and disciplines, reinforced through standardized assessments, accountability measures, and other policy levers, but with the rise of the pandemic this spring and the national fight for racial justice, schools were forced to evolve quickly. At the same time, young people have been encountering death, food insecurity, trauma, and unemployment in their own homes all while getting a front seat to how democracy is—or isn’t—working for them. What has this meant for their educational experiences?

Many of those young people are displaying inner reserve, resiliency, self-regulation, leadership, service, and citizenship in ways that no one could have anticipated. In the essays and videos below, educators, students, and researchers explore how students have carved their own paths in recent months.









A Back-to-School Plan Built Around Student Connection
Opinion

A Back-to-School Plan Built Around Student Connection

September 9, 2020

There’s a lot we can’t control this year, writes principal Jill Gurtner. Here’s what we can.









What Happens When Students Have Ownership Over Their Success
Opinion

What Happens When Students Have Ownership Over Their Success

September 9, 2020

Young people are experts in their own lives, writes Nicole Williams Beechum. Start treating them that way.










How I Found My Confidence as a Teen Activist
Opinion

How I Found My Confidence as a Teen Activist

September 9, 2020

Adults have a role to play in helping, rather than discouraging, student-activists like me, writes Brandon Griggs.









Students Deserve a Voice in Our Pandemic Response. Here’s How to Give It to Them
Opinion

Students Deserve a Voice in Our Pandemic Response. Here’s How to Give It to Them

September 9, 2020

The pandemic has underscored the need for student leadership, writes Robyn Lingo. What does that mean for schools?













The Case for Continuing School Sports Remotely
Opinion

The Case for Continuing School Sports Remotely

September 9, 2020

Coaches can still help students find the benefits of youth athletics remotely, writes principal Patrick Burke.








Coverage of character education and development is supported in part by a grant from The Kern Family Foundation, at www.kffdn.org. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.



Illustrations: Taylor Callory for Education Week