The Toughest Year Yet

May 18, 2022
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As the world adopts a new way of living due to COVID-19, here at LinkedUp we were curious about how schools are operating in the aftermath of the global pandemic.

In this month’s highlighted episodes, ‘The Toughest Year Yet’; Part 1 and Part 2 (Episodes 61 and 68), we linked up with Tom Ryan, Julia Evje, Geoff Brignola and Mary Roath to explore what unexpected challenges are being faced in this uncharted territory.

Here are the key ideas we took away from this episode:

  • Students are struggling to adapt to the rules of the classroom, the knowledge gap among them has expanded, and there has been an increase in conflict. Due to their absence, extra time must be taken to reacclimate them, develop their social skills and teach them how to work as a team.
  • Teachers are leaving the profession due to retirement, stress, or personal reasons, such as caring for others. Districts are struggling to replace them as well as hire new bus drivers. Admins have stepped in to teach on occasion.
  • Remaining teachers are utilizing technology to adapt. By automating processes such as assessments, they are able to spend more time interacting with students and less time working on administrative tasks.
  • Parent/Teacher conferences via Zoom were a positive that emerged from COVID-19. Due to their accessibility and convenience, teleconferences are likely to be utilized moving forward.

Students in school today are the first of their kind to deal with an educational disruption of this magnitude. Despite all the difficulties caused by COVID-19, this global event could call for a more collaborative learning experience for future generations. To close the knowledge gap it will be crucial for administrators, teachers, and school leaders to be flexible and willing to adopt new practices to support students as they navigate the new normal.

Check out the full podcasts for all the details:

Toughest Year Yet - Pt. 1: YouTube | Spotify | Apple Podcasts
Toughest Year Yet - Pt. 2: YouTube | Spotify | Apple Podcasts

Don’t forget to listen to three of our podcasts from our themed choice boards to earn 0.5 of CEU credit. Simply submit this form when you finish.

Explore Further

Explore the links below to learn more about the transition from virtual classroom to in-person learning:


Education Leaders

About the Author

About the Authors

Jerri Kemble

National Academic Advisor



Jamie Saponaro

Director of Community & Professional Learning



Learning and always growing, Jamie Saponaro is an educator with a passion for sharing topics in education that are near and dear to her heart. Her background as an instructional strategies consultant, educational coach and mentor, technology administrator, and middle school teacher have brought her to ClassLink as Director of Community and Professional Learning where she co-hosts the LinkedUp podcast and its boundary-breaking guests.