Yesterday, I felt a chasm open and a sludge of panic filled my gut. Significant change has marked much of my life, so I was perplexed by these emotions. I had been on a twelve-hour-a-day Twitterfest, staying connected in virtual meetings, and preparing for distance learning, so I suppose it should be of no surprise. I was thinking more about school and teaching and learning and equity while trying to manage a new normal.
I have also been doing a LOT of reading and thinking about ways to teach my students online and I was inspired by John Warmer’s recent article, “If it Doesn’t Make Sense…Refuse” in Inside Higher Ed .
This was a signal for me. I decided to define my refuse:
- I will not comment on American politics on Twitter. I’m not American, and while I do have a vested interest as a fellow human being, what I witness at a distance on Twitter confounds and distresses me. I won’t feed that part of the internet.
- I will not post platitudes and seemingly simplistic thoughts on eduTwitter. It only draws challenges and the ire of some who might be tired of the “starfish”.
- I will not challenge the platitudes and seemingly simplistic thoughts of some on eduTwitter unless they are racist or sexist or elitist. This is the line that I will hold firmly.
- I will not expect others to respond to me on Twitter, in email, or to my writing or podcast. I am learning through both silence and critical feedback. Silence is its own form of feedback.
- I will not expect others to join me in my willingness to bend to the needs of students and parents for online teaching at this time.
- I will not give up on my willingness to bend to the needs of students and parents for online teaching at this time.
- I will not spend money needlessly, but I will indulge myself and my students in books and educational material, conferences, etc.
- I will not stop sharing what I can with those who have less.
- I will not stop working for my students.
- I will not give up my optimism.