Fellow writing teachers, I want to remind you: you have permission to compose daily, wildly, happily, with what is readily at hand. Creativity right now is an act of rebellion against the unrelenting cruel present, against the ever expanding waves of dread that are washing up on our collective shore. The corrosive effect of all the suffering we’ve been through for the past two years is universal yet intimately private. Each of us who is involved in teaching online should record our own reflection about what just happened and what we could do better as teachers moving forward into this new learning ecosystem.
As we are all seeking solace from the pandemic era, online teachers are watching educational delivery and assessment shift at a pace unparalleled. As online teachers and authors, we have a place to put our pain, a way to honor and remember. Our written work might actually contribute real components, building blocks of the broader human experience of understanding.
Online teachers might never have seen themselves teaching in an asynchronous classroom, yet here you are. Nothing beyond your lived experience is required. That is what is awesome about online, writers in front of our computers may forget that writing is a skill that can be practiced anywhere, heck, a writer can compose with a burnt stick on birch bark if that is the only thing nearby. Each voice we offer to the world is a worthy one. Online teachers, you might not have seen yourself here, yet you belong here, and you can make the world a better place by telling your story and sharing it with the world.
Physical places to store your stories: Old recipe file boxes, but instead of how to make tasty sourdough loaves, you instead record one idea for a story, a character sketch, or poem.
Places to compose: In your car, use your voice memo function on your phone. In the shower, buy soap crayons and write down an idea on the side of the shower door. Technology means that you can type with your rapid eye movement if that is the only way that you can compose. There is no right way to write. Fellow online teachers, please make a daily writing plan and carve out time to write, read, and reflect.
Share what you wrote with others, ask them to write down what happened to them during these confusing years. Let’s create a tapestry of stories of how we sustained, learned, read, listened, and changed due to the recent events we have all witnessed.
Online teachers have a front row seat on the evolving learning environment that will be further refined. Please let us know if you have topics that you would like addressed or a story about learning online that you want to share here with our readers.