The Chaos Theory of Education

The Butterfly Effect Theory states, “if you change one thing you change everything”. It is connected to TheChaos Theory and states, as an example, if a butterfly flaps its wings in New Mexico at exactly the right time it can cause a hurricane in China. It could take a long time for the hurricane to come, but the cause could be traced to the butterfly who flapped its wings at the exact right time and location. Suffice it to say that there is always an impact on the things that we do, and we may never fully see the long-term impacts of our actions. 

In 2001, September 11 happened and many people rushed to the Pentagon and to the World Trade Center to support with efforts to find those who were trapped. Ten years later I saw similar advertisements for those men and women who were experiencing suicidal thoughts, cancers in their throats and lungs, and some had even died due to the exposure to chemicals while at Ground Zero. 

How much more will our children be impacted by the forced isolation, mask-wearing, and these educational shifts? Children are currently missing out on valuable learning, as not just education is taught at schools. Sharing and compassion, lifelong friendships, as well as morals and values are often crystallized. Our children are being deprived and while there may not be lawsuits twenty years from now, society will be forever impacted by the shift in reality that children are experiencing. If you are able to facilitate safe and consistent ways for the children in your life to continue interacting with one another, it could be the shift needed to assuage the inevitable chaos that is forming in the future.

Furthermore, check on the educators you know and ensure that they are caring for self. How do educators transmute that love of being around the youth through a screen? The electronic disconnect is causing some educators to stress out, sometimes even at the expense of their own families and self wellness. The chaos that educators are experiencing with trying to create “virtual classrooms” that hold space for all that would go on in the physical classroom is having lasting impacts. The pressure of being able to perform in this virtual reality and still maintain the joy that came from being in person has its costs.

The most beautiful thing about chaos theory is that out of chaos must come order, we can rebuild and build the educational world that we desire. My warning is to hunker down for the storm that is to come, keep your loved ones close and stay learning with your children and be connected to the educators in your life. Don’t allow them to be lost in the chaos of this long-term isolation and the potentially harmful educational shifts. 

Photo by Suad Kamardeen

About Janelle Naomi

Janelle Naomi is a passionate educator of ten years who has taught in preschool, elementary school, and middle school. Keep up with Janelle’s endeavors via her website JanelleNaomi.com. | @JanelleNaomi.

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