The Great Reset

Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering, encourages us to enter into 2022 with conscious intention and in community. Recently, she discussed what she calls “the great reset” on Brené Brown’s podcast. What is the Great Reset?

Parker describes it this way: “We are in a moment of creation. And that is something that few generations get at this level…We are entering and building this new world…It is a radical time of makeover, of invention.”

What does radical reinvention look like in classrooms? 

As overwhelming as that sounds, radical reinvention means small, simple; Like taking three breaths together. Bringing intention to this moment – even in small ways — is powerful and transformational.

Cultivate a spirit of experimentation (rather than fear of doing it wrong):

Parker suggests we focus our intention on questions like, “What is our need in THIS moment? How might we experiment and come together in THIS way? How might we learn and decide if that really worked or if that was a terrible idea, laugh, and try something else.” Class meetings, shared problem solving, even stopping to notice and name feelings are opportunities for experimentation rather than fixing.

Mark the Exits and Entrances:

Parker says, “Mark and mourn and celebrate (what has been) and then also mark what we want to enter into. When we do that, witnessed with others, we all carry that memory with us as we move forward and invent.”

For their return to in-person learning, Redwood Elementary in Grants Pass, Oregon developed a list of re-opening rituals and strategies, many that might spark an idea for your specific situation.

To help teachers and students acknowledge and process the past, explore feelings, and build community, Sound Discipline developed these Resilience Through Transition lesson plans which can be adapted for your situation.

Listen without Fixing:

Acknowledge what is there. Avoid minimizing. It’s all valid. How do we learn from what students and teachers are experiencing, even if it’s just to notice and name?

Here is a great resource on the importance of listening.

Hardship, loss, grief connect us:

Conscious community building is the core of “the great reset.” Prioritizing connection, asking for help, starting with strengths. No matter what is going counter to plan, these are the watch phrases that can help even if you don’t see immediately what you hoped you would.

  • This article from Greater Good Magazine emphasizes ways to contribute to a sense of beginning and connection for students.
  • Revisit this Sound Discipline article from the beginning of the school year, which offers resources for building community.

We DO see what you’re already doing. Welcoming students into your class from the classroom whose teacher is out sick today. Doubling down on emotional regulation and feelings charts. Learning how to invite your students’ brilliance to solve their own problem with your encouragement and belief in them.

All of us – educators most especially — will be processing and making meaning out of this time for years to come, but in the moment-to-moment and day-to-day, what we say about our students is also true for adults — you matter, you are enough. Thank you for being brilliant buffers for your students during such painful and stressful times.



Every child needs to feel “I’m Safe. I Belong. I Matter.” How can you, as an adult who works with youth during the pandemic, help them experience emotional safety? Especially when all of us are exhausted, and our own nervous systems are overwhelmed. Check out our Reimagining Resilience workshop where we explore the critical strategies for building positive relationships with kids. Offered as a two-session online workshop. Coming up Feb 8 & 15. Register today to reserve your spot.