With pride, humility, and wonder at the vibrancy of connections during crisis, I’m pleased to share a collection of brief teaching and resilience essays that may bring back memories. Just over 2 ½ years ago, we were confronted with the unexpected demands of the pandemic through sudden lockdowns accompanied by health and economic crises we had not anticipated. These crises threatened lives and security. Our work as educators became a struggle to balance recognition of primary needs with the recognition that learning matters for our students both in their present circumstances and their futures. During this time, faculty at CUNY may remember a series of emails I wrote and sent that addressed practical responses to teaching, wellbeing, and social justice needs.
Those emails are now collected in “Make the Kind Choice,” an open access publication available through CUNY Academic Works and the TLC website. For those interested, the emails share our historical, pedagogical, resilient work together through the threatening months of the pandemic’s first year, through the terrible awakening of many to racial violence (and the re-traumatization of many, many more), and our uneven yet often joyful returns to the college. The guide is partially comprised of recommendations for teaching and resilience and partially of in-the-moment commentary on the events we were experiencing.