virtual education, equity, and kindness

A lot of educators that I know went back to school yesterday – virtually, in-person, hybrid, flex, or otherwise.

As classes resume, one of my roles as an education director for a nonprofit organization is to help our former adult education students transition into new spaces.

One of my former students stopped by to have me help her buy books for her classes at our local community college. It’s her first semester back to school after many years away, and she’s feeling overwhelmed by returning to school during COVID. She doesn’t have a lot of the resources that she needs right now: a laptop/device that she can write papers on and/or Zoom through, books for class (which are out of her price range at the campus bookstore), or internet that consistently works.

What she has is a fierce core of determination and strength.

We have been working on her financial aid paperwork for nine months now. NINE MONTHS.

She has been out of work for nearly that long.

She is working her hardest to make sure that she can finish her education to earn her early childhood license in order to better provide for her family.

My student is one of many people who are returning to school this fall who may feel unprepared, overwhelmed, and out of place.

Please be gentle with your students right now, friends. Be gentle with them, and be gentle with yourselves.

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