Your Voice: Change is the only constant in life
Adapting is a characteristic of life. An organism is only alive if it possesses the ability to change. Subsequently, adapting isn’t only necessary for us to survive; it’s essential for us to “thrive.”
Adapting is a characteristic of life. An organism is only alive if it possesses the ability to change. Subsequently, adapting isn’t only necessary for us to survive; it’s essential for us to “thrive.” We need to be able to change and adapt to various situations and conditions throughout our lives. Often, change is not expected or welcomed, however, we find ways to work with it. Some of us are skilled at adapting; others are not. To improve our ability to adapt, we can learn from the master adapters within us: teachers.
Successful teachers, like the ones at Saudi Aramco Expatriate Schools (SAES), have to be naturally adaptive. Each teacher has their own style of teaching that they constantly evolve to fit their students’ learning abilities, habits, knowledge, motivation, and schedule. Flexibility and adaptability are inherently ingrained in their profession. Teachers exemplify these traits in every lesson, class after class, year after year.
Toward the end of the 2019-2020 school year, teachers found themselves in front of the ultimate test. March 9, 2020, was the last day that students were in school before it officially moved online due to COVID-19. Many teachers, whose style relied heavily on face-to-face interaction, had to scramble to adapt their course to fit the current predicament. Art teachers changed their units so students could complete them from home. Science teachers recorded their experiments so that students could still observe the phenomenon. Language Arts teachers provided their students with resources to read and write from home; each student also received personalized feedback. All these changes were undoubtedly tricky to pull off, but teachers never faltered or missed a step. They showed us that no matter where school was taking place, it would remain an interactive, fulfilling, and enriching experience.
The changes were far from over, though. On November 8, 2020, school shifted from totally online to a hybrid model. Instead of teaching four of the same classes, teachers now had to teach eight. Despite this, the teachers at SAES stayed positive, enthusiastic, determined, and above all, flexible. The teachers taught all students the same way, whether it was their second class or the seventh. Social studies teachers still pulled off simulations for their classes even though there were half as many students in a class. Physical Education teachers designed an interactive program for students to choose workouts they liked. Math investigations stayed as interactive and explorative as ever. In addition, all teachers adapted to this new system of desk wiping, hand sanitizing, and social distancing. Throughout the process, no class ever lost its appeal, and students remained focused. The teachers showed us that even though they had to do more work in this hybrid model, each child would receive the same amount of individual attention.
We applied this attitude to other fields of life, as well. Employees went from working with colleagues in-person to working from home to ensure the continuation of the business. Doctors went from examining patients in the clinic to receiving information over the phone and through video visits to provide care. All of these remarkable changes show a mindset of flexibility and adaptability. None of these changes were easy to make, but every change had a positive output and proved the great saying by Heraclitus: change is the only constant in life.
About the Author: Duaa Mushahid is an eighth grade student at the Saudi Aramco Expatriate School, and is the daughter of Muhammad Qureshi (a Loss Prevention Engineer).
Your Voice reflects the thoughts and opinions of the writer, and not necessarily those of the publication.