I have been teaching online for almost two years now. It has been the first time I’ve been able to work in a decade and a half outside of the freelance writing and public speaking I did when I lived in New York. I missed teaching so much that even all these years later, a decade and a half, I have dreams of myself doing it. I am still friends with some of my former students who are now adults and I cherish those connections. I have made so many new connections while teaching online even though my students are half the world away in other countries.
I have one student who teaches me about music. I’ve always loved singing and dancing. I used to choreograph dances with my sister as kids. We’d sing along to Disney films, too. But because my parents are immigrants, there are large holes in my American music education that my student in China has been filling for me. He has recommended I listen to Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Led Zeppelin and others that life and my parents never really introduced me to deeply if at all.
My two favorite students are two students I’ve taught for almost two years. One of them, who is in elementary school, loves ice skating and drawing and the other one, a preteen, hopes to be a pilot when he grows up. I can imagine staying in touch even once I am done teaching online. But I am so not done. Teaching online thankfully works around many of the parts that made my disability and in-person teaching impossible. I’m also on much, much better meds than I have been for most of the fifteen years I’ve been chronically ill.