#sol20- March 28, 2020
It is today’s reality- my colleagues who teach with me are literally spread out across the world, but these distances have been bridged due to technology, specifically Zoom.
A few years ago I began following Erin Kent on her Facebook page Reading and Writing Workshop in International Schools. I was lucky enough to meet her in person once and was looking forward to learning from her in person at a conference in Hong Kong that was supposed to happen two weeks ago. But then, Corona.
Not one to sit idle Erin is consulting virtually these days and recently proposed an online book club. I am a PD junky, so after looking at the title (Co-Teaching for English Learners), I was in. Last night was our third and final meeting (confession- I missed the middle session because this online teaching is no joke- I did not have time to do the reading).
There we were, teachers in the US, Albania, China, India, Czechia, Malaysia UAE, and Cambodia discussing common issues and brainstorming the next steps. It was lots of fun to be in a group with one of my favorite people ever, Gina, and learn together once again. We taught together for three years in Malaysia and love to attend PD together.
We ended the session with a few minutes coming up with burning questions for the author because next week Erin and Tonya, the two facilitators will have a chat with her that they will post on Facebook afterward. So there I was on a Friday night after a week of way too much screen time voluntarily spending more time there because that is where the learning was.
Of course this week they announced the next book club book and as soon as I logged out of Zoom I logged in to Amazon to buy the Kindle version (Start with Joy: Designing Literacy Learning for Student Happiness), because really, who does not need more joy?
I already know I am in Gina’s group again and next week when we discuss the first three chapters I will get to learn with her again. Books and a love of learning and teaching connect so many of us across the miles and it is even sweeter when online friends and colleagues are real-life friends too (next weekend I was supposed to meet Gina in Bangkok…). For now, I will have to be content with ling distance learning. I am grateful technology allows for this.