I am a teacher of teachers, having spent time in both undergraduate and graduate classrooms at several Virginia universities. I teach online and face to face and recently wrote about my preference for face to face experiences.
I have been able to keep up with some of my students through social media but, as with most teachers, it can be hard to keep track of many students as they head into the world. So, one of the pleasant surprises at the conference this year were the former students who came up to say hello and let me know the influence my class had on their work.
And, I had the added pleasure of sitting next to a current student during Sarah Thomas’s digital equity session. He teaches in the underserved county where I live, and we have connected over this shared understanding of the real impact of the digital divide.
He spoke eloquently about how the lack of connectivity impacts expectations about out-of-school learning and the importance of working towards equity for his students. I felt a little pang of joy that I was able to nurture this leader as he moved into the next steps of his career.
Teaching is a “side gig” for me but it informs my other work in powerful ways as I think hard about the skills and dispositions my students will need to work and lead in the future.