Dear Members of the TC Community,
Before you head out for a well-deserved spring break, I want to take a moment to reflect on the second anniversary of our transition to remote operations in the wake of the pandemic.
On Thursday, March 12, 2020, we moved online, launching what we referred to as a “pilot.” Spring break began the following Monday and, at that time, we still hoped that we would be able to get back to campus the subsequent Monday. Little did we know.
Since then our city, country, and the world have experienced unprecedented loss, illness, disruption and anxiety. Within our TC community, we also witnessed extraordinary resilience, generosity and resourcefulness. So many of you sprang into action to offer help to individuals and communities here at TC and across the city and country. So many of you worked long hours to come up with thoughtful, creative ways to operate in this new environment and carry on classes, services, supports, events, research and partnerships in the online setting.
We have learned important lessons over these past two years and have emerged with new knowledge, new expertise and new avenues for investigation. While none of us ever want to repeat what we have gone through, we have a deeper appreciation of our strengths and an expanded vista of opportunities to extend our reach and our impact.
The pandemic is not over, but I am heartened that, thanks to everyone’s patience and cooperation, we were able to safely return to campus—and also seamlessly move online during the period when it was required. Now, with current low rates of COVID-19 infection, strong vaccines and effective treatments becoming more widely available, I believe we can be optimistic that we are entering a new phase of the pandemic.
At the same time, the Russian invasion of a peaceful country, and the scale of the humanitarian crisis make this a dark moment in history. We reaffirm our solidarity with the Ukrainian people and with all of the individuals affected by the war. For information on how to support relief efforts, you can visit the TC Relief Efforts webpage, and we welcome suggestions of additional organizations to include on this list.
As we navigate difficult times like these, it is important to take time for restorative reflection and I hope you can do that over the break. Thank you for all you do and I look forward to seeing you when you return on March 21.
President, Teachers College