Tuesday, July 6, 2021


(During the summer months, I like to take the A-Z Challenge and come up with words alphabetically and see how they apply to education. I think it’s a great exercise for teachers and students to give this a try.)

Normal is a word that is overused and overrated. Who is to say what normal is? What is normal for me may not be normal for you. What is normal in one situation may not be normal in another situation.

Many times my students would come to me and tell me that they wish they could be normal. What do they mean by normal? They want to be like everyone else. That is not normal. That is being like everyone else. I think they want to be accepted and mistake that for being normal. I try to explain to my students that being unique is much more fun than being normal. Being unique means we have different strengths than other people have. Being unique is a good thing and not a bad thing.

Since Covid hit, all I hear everyone talk about is how they want things to get back to normal. Normal to them is getting back to the way things used to be. I don't think that everything was great the way it used to be. Our whole world was turned upside down and many people learn new things. This is a good thing. It pushed teachers to grow in their teaching techniques and learn these strategies to reach students differently. I don't think going back to the way things were is a good thing in this instance. If that was normal, I don't want to go back to normal.

Normal in a classroom may be a set of routines that everyone follows. Many of my students like having this structure of a routine in my class. When they go away on vacation, they like to come to class where things are normal. Normal for them means they know what to expect. So I think when people say they want things to go back to normal, they really want to go back to a time where they knew what to expect. But, in reality, I think we learned that we can't take anything for granted and we need to expect that anything can happen. We need to stay alert and be prepared for the unexpected.

Normal can be defined differently by many different people. We all have different values and standards so who determines what is normal?

Nothing is normal.

Photo by OpticalNomad on Unsplash

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