Sometime at the beginning of January, a leader at my school in China who is in charge of these sorts of things informed us that there was a small outbreak of the Coronavirus in a nearby province called Hubei. Few of the expat teachers at the meeting, me included, knew where that was. With the memory of SARS still lingering for some in attendance, we were told to brace for the worst as we flew to our various Chinese New Year vacation destinations, which for my family was Koh Samet, Thailand.
We were not even half way there in our hired car when we received an e-mail that school would be canceled for two weeks. We extended our holiday. A week later or so, we were told to start prepping for online learning and that school was closed until further notice. Stephanie and I strapped our daughter into a baby Bjorn and flew to Laos. When school closures were extended once again, we flew back to our hometown of Tacoma, WA, a place we assumed would be more safe than waiting for the virus to spread to the rest of Asia. We obviously assumed wrong!
Months later and we’re still social distancing and I’ve never been more overworked in my life. Between teaching five grade levels remotely, raising an increasingly active infant daughter in my in-law’s house, submitting my dissertation proposal (it got endorsed!), and applying for jobs due to not being able to re-enter China (today I had four Zoom interviews), I’m up to my ears in responsibilities.
One of the things that has brought me some solace, in addition to having access to Netflix for the first time in 7 years, is being able to interact with the inspiring educators in my learning network. I recently had the chance to make a second appearance on the What’s the Big Idea podcast (check out the first). This time around, I was joined by some really eclectic and talented voices as we all contributed our thoughts about what we have learned about education during the pandemic. Have a listen:
I suggest checking out the websites of my fellow guests and following them on Twitter. Stay safe out there!
– Zach Groshell
1:34 George Evans | @kruevans
2:44 Christina Tondevold | @BuildMathMinds | Build Math Minds Podcast
5:10 Jasmine Lane | @MsJasmineMN | Ms. Jasmine’s Blog
6:08 Chris McNutt | @HumResPro | Human Restoration Project
12:34 Trevor Aleo | @MrAleoSays | Education to Save the World
13:54 Julie Stern | @JulieHStern |Julie’s author page
16:53 Philip Mott | @PhilipMott1 | philiomott.com
18:49 Alec Patton | @alecpatton |High Tech High Unboxed Podcast