Alone Together.

My #2020OneWord is “Alone Together.” Ok, I know it’s two words, but I just can’t get it out of my mind and do not have one word to describe this feeling.
I feel more connected with my online community than I have in a long time. On the contrary, I feel much more isolated from my school community (who aren’t necessarily using online tools) since I’ve been working from home. So, I am Alone, “Together” with you.

In October, I was required to isolate myself after being in close contact with a colleague who “tested positive’. Two days later, one of my immediate family members was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer. From that point on, I have been working in a full-time remote teaching position from home. I am entirely isolated now. The only time I leave my house is to go for a run or take Stewie (our Australian Shepherd) for a walk. Otherwise, I’m Alone, “Together” with many of you.
I’m grateful t have such a geographically diverse online community. Many of you out there inspire me to be better, think more deeply, care more passionately, and teach more vigorously. When I’m struggling, I know that I am NOT alone.
Full disclosure: I am finding the alone part not so bad. As an introvert and someone with social anxiety, I often find the day to day social aspect quite overwhelming and tiring. Of course, I still meet up with colleagues (online), but the time spent is more structured. I wonder if there are others out there who feel more productive in this scenario? What about our students?



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6 Replies to “Alone Together.”

  1. Oh Zoe! I’m so sorry to hear about your family member’s diagnosis. I really hope that all is going well for him/her. Thinking about you …

    I definitely find my connections with those online much greater than they have been for years. Even though I was working in a school until Winter Break, my attempts to stay safe meant that I rarely saw or socialized with others in the building. Recently, I’ve received two emails from staff members, and I don’t even know who they are. How is this possible?! It’s never happened before. It’s so strange even when we are with others. Social distancing changes connections … or so it seems. I wonder if others feel the same.

    Wishing you and your family all the best in 2021!

  2. Thanks, Zoe, for checking in – and you know you’re welcome to join us at #eduknitnight any time!
    I love your word, and your acknowledgement that for some people, the relief from “people-ing” is a plus. I know there are students in my class for whom it is easier to work from home, just as I know there are some who are desperately craving the connection.

    Miss you, friend!

  3. Hi Zoe,
    I’m sorry to hear about your family member’s diagnosis. The stress of COVID is hard enough and then layer on family illnesses, isolation, parenting and online learning. It’s a lot.

    I am happy to hear your online community is helping you feel connected. I too have turned back to Twitter to reconnect.
    Virtual hugs to you,

    Angie Harrison

  4. Hey Angie,

    Hugs received. You proved my point – how supportive our community is, even during these very lonely and difficult times. Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out to me. It means a lot and I am super grateful to have friends in the online world. I hope you are doing ok on your side of the screen.

  5. Thanks Lisa. It is hard for so many and we are all worried – it is in our nature. Thanks for reaching out. I do miss seeing folks at PD, conferences, and meet-ups and yearn for those days. I appreciate how much you support the Tweep community – it is enriching and uplifting. Miss you too.

  6. Thanks for putting my blog out there Aviva. It lifted my day when I saw those comments. You account for about 40% of all comments on my blog – lol. It can be socially difficult to work with folks we don’t know or of whom we only see online. To be honest, I found the in-school to be rather isolating this year simply due to the restrictions. I continue to be inspired by you Aviva. Hang in there and let’s continue to support one another here, in the online world where it is Covid free. 😉

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