Let’s go back to the future!
“Back to the future” implies a play on words that perfectly suits the current reality of schools. Schools have come back. We have all come back to the institution (have we?), and we have all come back to the facilities (have we?). However, where and how is it that we have come back? Are we there at all? Is it possible that during the pandemic we traveled to places and when we came back everything was out of joint? If so, do we have to set it “right”? The places we have travelled, the continents we have conquered, physical, psychical, virtual, do we abandoned them? During the pandemic, the future accelerated. We found ourselves resorting to brand new technology and ways of teaching we had all heard about, tried ourselves, toyed with the idea of using but several issues that appeared along the way must give us pause. Yes, we got both back. And to the future, but how?
Inequalities and the awareness that the whole planet was fighting the same battle but with a much worrying difference as to the weapons at our reach; and the given consequences of said won and failed battles are key factors that were thrown onto the discussion table of education. Yes, of course, we already knew all about it, but it became more real, more tangible and therefore, much more frustrating. Therefore, we need to think globally, and in order to do so we depend more than ever before on solidarity. It is evident that we cannot return to the world as it was before. In addition, it is one of the things we most long for. The new reality implies a change of territorial as well as strategic moves. However, it also implies getting rid of the old and embrace the new, which is, or should be, bringing back to the future much of what was temporarily but certainly radically lost during the years of the pandemic: a sense of community, of belonging, of solidarity and many other values that constitute much of the essence of the human condition. Yes, let us go back and bring the past into the future. Accommodating the luggage to this new journey should leave useless things behind (those that have already proven useless) but the treasures we keep we need to embrace and bring them back into our classrooms.