As we approach the one year anniversary of the educational disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been thinking a lot about the last year and the lessons this crisis has taught me. The pandemic has taught me about the power of relationships, the importance of family, the need for connection, and… well, I could go on. But beyond the personal lessons I’ve learned from the pandemic, I’ve been thinking about what it has taught me about teaching and learning. As I’ve mentioned before, this academic year marks my 29th year of teaching and I would argue that I’ve learned a lot about this profession in the last year as I navigated these unprecedented times. As I’ve pondered these lessons, a single question has become a regular motif of puzzlement resonating through my brain for the last month or so. It has joined me on walks. It has taken showers with me. It has kept me company as I stare at the ceiling at 3 AM.
“What has the pandemic taught you about teaching and learning?”
And originally, I was prepared to use this space to answer the question. But I’m not going to do that. At least not today. Instead, I thought I’d offer it to all of you. If you’re reading this blog, you probably work in education in some way. You might be a college professor or a kindergarten teacher. You may be a college administrator or a high school principal. Maybe you’re someone who I’ve had the privilege of working with as a student or someone I’ve been grateful to have as a teacher. Regardless of your role, this pandemic has been rough on all of us. It has profoundly impacted our work and changed us in the process. So, let’s embrace it and reflect on it.
So, here’s my invitation. I invite you to answer the question and email it to me. I’ll share the responses on this space starting in mid-March to coincide with the anniversary of the pandemic disruption. My posts usually top out around 500 – 1000 words, so that’s the only direction I’ll provide. Otherwise, the posts can be as personal as you like. In my eleven years of blogging here, I’ve never had a “guest author” before, so this new territory for me. But I trust you, my educational friends.
If you’d like to participate, email your response to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and use the subject line “What I Learned” so I know your email is not some crazy spy bot or anything.
Submissions are due by February 28, 2021.
Thanks for considering this. And thank you for the work you do.