As I sit working and Google Meeting and Zooming and Flip Gridding all day in my new “office” (a desk and chair I moved into the guest room by the window), I feel alone. This is somewhat ironic because my house is more crowded than it has been in years due to the fact that our girls are home. It’s just that during the day, I’m up in my office, sitting at my desk. I have been eating breakfast, and sometimes lunch, alone while I prepare for the day or try to eat something between meetings. I have struggled to learn some of the technology needed to do this work. I’ve tried to problem-solve on my own. I’ve watched videos on Screencastify over and over just to try to figure out how to add the extension to Chrome. And that is only the very first step of actually using this technology! After the Meets and Zooms and Hangouts are over, there are SO many emails to read and respond to, so I sit at my desk by the window trying to catch up.
But this afternoon I felt anything but alone. This afternoon I joined (for the second week in a row) the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s Office Hours with Lucy Calkins and colleagues. The topic was how to teach during a pandemic. As the Zoom meeting started, educators started joining. The list grew and grew and grew. Hundreds and hundreds (possibly thousands) of teachers from around the world were logging in. It was overwhelming and exciting and so very uplifting. Lucy welcomed us all and, as always, inspired us to be our best selves so that we can help students and families navigate this pandemic. She encouraged us to be innovative and to be responsive. Then teachers began to ask questions, and the TCRWP staff responded. All the while, the chat box was filling with questions, suggestions, links, and ideas. Teachers are doing such incredible work in such desperate times. They are creating materials since their materials are still in school buildings. They are finding all sorts of ways to connect with kids. They are providing support and professional development for families (as this is all new to them too), and they are teaching their hearts out.
This afternoon, I realized that I am not alone. In fact, I am part of something that is big and new and important. I have colleagues around the globe. We are walking side by side, and we are all here to hold each other up.
Thank you, Lucy and TCRWP, for making me part of something big.