This year has been wonderful in many ways. Yes, you read that right. I could sit here and list all of the ways in which 2020 has kicked us all in the teeth and been a year of struggles, but as I reflect on this year, I find there have been many positives to come out of our strife.
I am a teacher by profession. March 13th changed my career and the educational path of every student in my district and many others around us. But not all of those changes were negative. From my position in front of the camera and behind the emails I witnessed parents and students working together towards their education in ways I had never seen before. Parents were involved, supportive and becoming more aware of their child’s strengths and weaknesses and creatively finding ways to embrace both. Many saw this as a chance to teach their children resilience and flexibility which will serve them well in life.
I saw families engaging with one another in ways they hadn’t during our busy lives of commuting, sports, and extracurriculars. They were playing games, going outside to spend time together, and getting back to simple pleasures. Bike sales soared, backyard blow up pools were all the rage, and staycation took on a whole new meaning.
While we were all struggling to find connections with the outside world, we found new ways to engage with others. How many of us had never had a video call with our extended family before? Families got creative about connecting and telling those that we love that we missed them. These calls became our lifelines.
So, yes, 2020 has been quite a year. It has tested us in ways we never thought possible. But, we are a resourceful and resilient people. I, for one, am proud of the positive growth and development that has come from our struggles.
Julie Newton is a teacher, wife, mom and business owner. She has been a teacher in the Huntington Beach City School District for 25 years. She lives in Huntington Beach with her husband and son who is a senior at Edison High School. When she is not teaching, she is coaching others in health and wellness through her Arbonne business and watching her son play hockey for the Jr. Kings and Edison High School.