CSTA Classroom Science

We Made It!

December 2020...we made it! We are so close to 2021. Looking back on what many refer to as the dumpster fire that was 2020, it is difficult to remember that it was not just a year of horrible events. This year was also filled with positivity and that is how I choose to remember it.

I choose to remember 2020 as the year we were able to get family and friends from around the country onto a Zoom call to celebrate birthdays and other special events together. It was the year we took the time to play with virtual backgrounds, first for necessity and then just for fun. For those of you who tried to get the very technologically challenged set up on these calls, I hope you can look back on it all and laugh at all of the mistakes that were made along the way just so that we could let people know they matter. 

I choose to remember 2020 as the year we came together as teachers, parents, administrators, businesses, and community members to try to solve a unique set of challenges our students and our children had to face. We did more than try to get all students access to virtual platforms and remote learning options. We stopped to remember that they are not just students, they are children navigating a difficult and challenging time. The conversations I have heard between teachers putting the social and emotional well being of their students before content have been inspiring...more so when they had student engagement increase as a result. 

I choose to remember 2020 as the year we remembered there was more to work than just work. We remembered all of the faces we often took for granted as part of our daily interactions, the side conversations during passing periods and recess, and the people we shared many meals with on a daily basis. When all is said and done, we will return to work sites (if we haven’t done so already) with a renewed appreciation for the value these people add to our lives.

I choose to remember 2020 as the year science showed me, once again, why it has always been my favorite subject. In under a year, we have three potential vaccines for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. I can’t help but think of all of the failures along the way because they are what made these vaccines possible. Science isn’t about being perfect. It isn’t even about getting the answer right the first time. Science is about perseverance. Science is about collaboration. Science is about failure leading to success. Science is everywhere we turn and I love it.

I choose to remember 2020 as the year CASE volunteers and staff took everything Covid-19 had to throw at us and didn’t back down. Instead of giving up on our annual conference, CASE volunteers and staff spent months reimagining what conference could be and busted their bottoms to get it done. Our virtual conference was a success for 2020. Even better, it has given us so much to think about for the future and reaching all of you better.

I choose to remember 2020 as the year that made me stronger, more collaborative, more appreciative, and more ready for the next year.

I hope all of you find joy and peace during this holiday season and the turning of a page.



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Shawna Metcalf

Written by Shawna Kolmel

Shawna is a science specialist at Glendale Unified School District and is President of CASE (2019-2021).

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