How can we measure 2021?

Over the past few months, we’ve been playing a lot of music for our baby girl, to keep her entertained (mostly because Mommy and Daddy sing and dance around the house like fools) and to help lull her to sleep. 

We may not be helping her get along with her future peers, but for now, she’s becoming an aficionado of Queen, The Beatles, and Broadway classics.

So, in the spirit of the musical RENT, let’s amuse ourselves with a game of “how do we measure a year?” – 2021 edition.

I don’t think that 2021 was the year that any of us were expecting. 

Right now, it feels like we are right back where we started in early 2020, with school being disrupted, cases surging, and holiday plans being canceled. 

For me, while the world feels very much the same, most everything in my daily life has changed!

If I’m going to be super nerdy (which should be expected of me at this point), we can take a lesson from “Seasons of Love” and see that we can both quantify and qualify our measurements. 

So what metrics could I use to describe my year?

These are all VERY REAL metrics for me right now! 

But of course, they don’t capture the full picture of my year or my experience as a new working mom.

It’s also important to consider how joyful we feel when our daughter breaks into a grin when she sees us, or the burning rage that comes with being woken from a much-needed nap (me, of course – not the baby), or the fear I have on a daily basis of exposing my child to one of the many diseases running rampant right now. 

All of these things are both valid and critical to understanding my experience and to uncovering unmet needs.

When we think of how to tell the story of our family engagement work during yet another challenging year, we need to consider how to quantify and qualify our efforts and impacts. 

Of course, we’ll want to know who we reached and track our efforts to do so.

But it’s also important to know how those people felt after that outreach and the ways in which their lives were (hopefully) made a bit easier as a result. 

Sometimes, we also need to know how we can do better and what else our students and families need.

It just takes a creative approach to data collection to capture the full story.

As you reflect on how 2021 went for you, both personally and professionally, how would you measure your year?

Leave a comment below and let me know what measures feel authentic to your year!