Everything has changed in the last few months, in ways too numerous to name. It's been like a slow motion 9/11, but deeper and broader in scope. And just as with that day, there is no "normal" to go back to, only a new normal we've yet to really imagine.
While we pivot to remote tutoring with as much grace as possible, our role as educators is starting to crystallize - we are here to remind our clients that the new normal is still out there, on the distant horizon. There will eventually be a day when students will need to find a derivative or write an essay (for some of them this may have already happened, but that's beside the point), and by helping them towards these goals we are creating stability and continuity. As much as students grumble about learning, it's part of their social and cognitive routine, and can be a source of comfort.
But the new normal isn't something that will one day arrive fully formed, it's something that we are collectively building day by day. It's my hope that we build a world that's more peaceful and humane, with a sense of collective responsibility as well as a sensitivity to individual needs. This can be the moment where we pivot our educational system towards accommodating diverse needs, towards learning for learning's own sake, towards a new emphasis on social and emotional learning.