The 2020 Year, While Painful, Inspired Independent Study | 3 Min Read

It had been two years since my student received a guitar as a holiday gift from his parents. Unwrapped and then left propped in the corner of his closet was the last time he touched the silent instrument before March 2020. The anticipated zest for learning chords, repeating strums, accompanying a solo, or starting a garage band fizzled amid the never-ending maxed schedule of teenage extracurricular and academic obligations that left little time for sleep, much less music lessons and a practice regimen. Until the pandemic. Until the cancellations. Until the solitude.

Because of COVID-19, students, educators, and parents have mourned losses of traditions, social events, and beloved celebrations that mile-mark the high school experience. Social media feeds the despondency with endless reminders of all that isn’t happening during the pandemic. Canceled athletics, field trips, music lessons, recitals, proms, college visits, and the advent of hybrid class schedules have altered the memories we imagined for 2020 and perhaps 2021 graduates. Teachers have implemented instructional technology more than ever before to keep student learning a priority while school administrators and parents have offered novel ways to fill the social void through virtual or physically-distanced, masked extracurricular activities. The year 2020…

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Debbie Ayers

Debbie Ayers has been at Flint Hill School (VA) since 2005. She currently serves as Assistant Director of the Upper School and Upper School Academic Dean.