Teaching Interactive

Reasons for Hope

Amid a persisting pandemic, educators and students are optimistic about the new school year
By Jaclyn Borowski , Kaylee Domzalski, Eric Harkleroad, Emma Patti Harris & Brooke Saias — August 26, 2021 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Students and teachers are returning to their classrooms for a third school year disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In many communities, rancor and division over masks, vaccines, and teaching about race and America’s history of racism compound the disruption.

But for the teachers, principals, school nurses, librarians, counselors, and superintendents who were celebrated in the early months of the pandemic for going above and beyond for their students, and adapting amid unprecedented circumstances, they’re ready and they’re hopeful.

In a series of videos, students and educators from across the United States share what they’re hopeful for as they head into the 2021-22 school year. Gathered from June through August, the voices of these educators and kids reflect the changing state of the pandemic during the summer. For those we talked to in June, it seemed a normal school year was in reach, while those we spoke to in more recent weeks were seeing Delta’s surge disrupt the start of their new academic year.

Click on each state below to view the videos:

Browse videos by occupation below:




Student Support Staff:

Related Tags:

This project is sponsored by Scholastic. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Early Childhood Webinar
How the Science of Reading Elevates Our Early Learners to Success
From the creators of ABCmouse, learn how a solution grounded in the science of reading can prepare our youngest learners for kindergarten.
Content provided by Age of Learning
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
English-Language Learners Webinar
Classroom Strategies for Building EL Students’ Confidence and Success
Fueling success for EL students who are learning new concepts while navigating an unfamiliar language. Join the national discussion of strategies and Q&A.
Content provided by Project Lead The Way
Future of Work Live Online Discussion Seat at the Table: Understanding the Critical Link Between Student Mental Health and the Future of Work
In recent months, there’s been a rallying cry against the teaching of social-emotional skills. Discover why students need these skills now more than ever.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Opinion New Book Offers Tried-and-True Advice on Classroom Practice
American education has a thing for shiny “innovations," but sometimes sensible, effective advice of experienced teachers is what is best.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Teaching Opinion From Reading Instruction to Teacher Leadership: 1,000 Educators Share Their Advice
For more than a decade, Larry Ferlazzo has been curating intelligence from colleagues and K-12 experts. Read what they have to say.
1 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
Teaching Opinion The Danger With Giving Students Feedback
Feedback works best when it's just one step in a learning process, writes Alfie Kohn.
Alfie Kohn
5 min read
Illustration of teacher and students walking away from a spotlight shinning on an empty school desk and chair
J.R. Bee for Education Week
Teaching Opinion Collaborate With Your Colleagues. You'll Prosper and So Will Your Students
Teachers can learn a lot from their peers and all the other staff members in their school.
4 min read
A team of people work together to build a block structure.
Imam Fathoni/iStock<br/>