Hannah Wilson takes over our blogs of the week slot to highlight a writing project helping educators make sense of their experiences through the COVID-19 crisis
#DailyWritingChallenge is a collection of powerful blogs by brilliant educators written from their courageous, compassionate, vulnerable hearts as they strive to make sense of what is happening in the world during the Covid-19 outbreak. Each day, a different human value becomes the topic for exploration, giving rise to a wonderfully diverse range of writing that is as cathartic for its readers as it is for its writers. Here is a selection of my favourite so far, and I hope you’ll join us as the project continues to grow.
David Gumbrell’s piece on Gratitude starts with a game and moves on to mindsets. He invites us to consider what we take for granted, what we need versus what we want. Framing his post in a BC (Before Covid) and PC (Post Covid) timeframe, he encourages us to reflect on what is truly important and what we can learn from the crisis we are faced with.
Joy is in the giving is the message of Nicola Owen’s blog. She takes us back to a night watching a football match in a pub in Manchester, which created opportunities for her in the local community. Encouraged to gift her theatre skills to run a drama school for some local children, it resulted in a pantomime performance of Cinderella. Reflecting on the relationships she developed, she shares the joy it brought her.
Reflecting on why he is such an ‘emotional conundrum’, Andrew Hatchard shares the wall he hides behind. Attending a rough school taught him how to survive. He learnt how to avoid confrontation and emotion at all costs. Sharing moments when he wept, he starts from positive anecdotes of football matches, then reveals the pain of losing a baby and the raw emotion that cascaded onto the football pitch one Sunday. As his story unravels, we learn about the grief he and his wife experienced and the emotional rollercoaster they went on as they tried to conceive and as they became parents.
Bukky’s blog pays homage to a different kind of family, her Twitter family. She recounts how she entered the world of educational social media and found it very confusing. Over time she has curated a strong, supportive network of people who have nurtured her, as she has nurtured them. Emphasising the ‘transformative professional development’ opportunities she has been able to access, she spotlights the personal relationships she has fostered too. The EduTwitter community has become Bukky’s ‘querencia’, a place where she draws strength and can be her authentic self.
As the founder of a hashtag and an emerging community of ‘Tiny Voices’ on Twitter, Toria Bono explores the value of trust. People who are new to EduTwitter who stumble across her profile trust her to look after them and help them to find their feet and find their voice. She in turn trusts a team of online volunteers to support, advise and guide them. With more people taking to Twitter during lockdown, and with behaviours often fuelled by emotions, she shares some of the challenges she has faced. Resolute in her commitment to nurture others, she resolves to trust those who volunteer and their intentions.
Developing the theme of nurturing others, Debra reflects on the opportunity to show her love for her family and her school community through food. Taking us back to her childhood in Yorkshire she shares her weekly task of rustling up a meal for her family. The lockdown has reminded her that food is a symbol of love as she provides it to connect and nurture others during this crisis.
All of the #DailyWritingChallenge blogs have been collated at https://www.valuesbasededucation.com/daily-writing-challenge. To contribute your own piece, head over to Twitter and find the hashtag.