Reflecting on 2020: A year like no other
2020 has been a year like no other, and as we move into a new and (hopefully) brighter new year, we’ve been reflecting on the outcomes of the past twelve months.
It goes without saying that 2020 has brought a multitude of challenges. But amidst these adversities, we have seen individuals, groups and entire communities create their own glimmers of light, whether that’s been through making more of an effort to keep in touch with our friends and family, meeting our neighbours, starting a new hobby, reading that book you’ve been meaning to finish, or even finally sitting down and studying some English (wishful thinking perhaps?!)
We’ve had to get creative with how we make our own happiness and take care of our mental wellbeing. Something I’m sure many of us hope to maintain as we move towards the new year.
Bell is no different. So, what have we been doing to create our own glimmers of light?
Supporting our communities
We couldn’t be prouder of our team at Bell. In addition to adapting to ever-changing working environments, some of our dedicated staff have volunteered their time to helping communities, or caring for neighbours, friends or family members. Meanwhile, others have focused on their own personal development and have gained qualifications to help others.
Sustaining our EAL support (Bell Foundation)
In difficult times, those most disadvantaged can be the worst affected. Some members of the Bell team have spent the year working closely with The Bell Foundation, whose mission is to open doors to disadvantaged children and those in the criminal justice system through language learning.
Supporting our teachers
The sudden closure of schools across the world gave teachers little, if any, time to prepare for moving lessons online. As our Head of Education and Teacher Development stressed in a webinar for CUP earlier this year: such a sudden shift from face-to-face to online teaching meant that there was a lack of support and a widespread feeling of isolation among teachers.
Some of our experts (including Silvana Richardson, Adrian Underhill, Vic Richardson and Jacqueline Douglas), recognised the importance of recreating supportive spaces for teachers and delivered free webinars during the summer in the absence of our Bell Teacher Academy, which helped build bridges between educators around the world.
Creating new programmes
At Bell, we believe in the power of language education to transform lives. And thanks to thorough preparation from our highly dedicated team, we are proud to have successfully launched a range of adult online courses. Plus, we are incredibly excited to be launching a range of brand new online teacher development and university preparation courses in January 2021.
As 2020 draws to a close, the world of education looks rather different compared to this time last year. Online education as a supplement, or indeed alternative, to face-to-face learning is a change that will undoubtedly continue in a post-COVID world, and one that Bell is embracing. We are truly excited for what’s in store for the new year.
Here’s to a fresh and brighter year ahead in 2021 – we hope to see you there!