I’ve been teaching since 2007. I’ve been online teaching since 2015. After the birth of my daughter I left the traditional classroom but remained a part-time online educator. I’ve taught introductory college composition courses for thirteen years. It has been an exhausting adventure.
I’ve loved the majority of my experiences and lessons. However, as many people across the country are learning, distance education is drastically different from the common classroom environment. To begin, I absolutely support distance learning as an option and viable solution for students and their unique circumstances and learning preferences. It has allowed people to begin or continue education in various environments or despite challenging conditions. For this, I am thankful.
Online teaching afforded me the option to remain working part-time while being home with my children full-time. The asynchronous format worked well for me and I felt a sense of pride and purpose in doing something that I loved while being with the people I loved.
But I’ve been burning the candle at both ends. I wanted to do so much more with my writing and to launch into projects that allowed me to do something different and daring. Like many, I’ve struggled with commitment, confidence, and calendar coordination. I simply can’t keep waiting, failing, or wondering.
I am not alone when I write that I’ve been thinking about this pandemic and its indelible impact. I am forever changed by living near the epicenter of a global health crisis. Now, more than ever before, I feel compelled to live differently.
It should be noted that I have the privilege of bidding farewell to online teaching because my better half has a job that supports such a decision. It is my intent to acknowledge this blessing, to work hard and contribute financially, and to continue to root myself in giving. I stand true and tall in the belief that a life of service is the best and most beautiful way to lead and love in all things and for all people.
It is weirdly wonderful to make this choice and to do so now. At at time where everything feels out of control, asserting some ownership in this arena has given me greater pride and purpose. I don’t think this is the last of me in the classroom, but for now it’s a planned pause.
Waste no time, friends.
And to all those distance educators, keep going. You’re a light for someone–remember that!