There's something I've been doing over the past few months of the pandemic. I've come to it via several routes—things show up when you need them. One was reading Hannah Selinger's piece for Eater on David Chang's autobiography. I wish more grown-ups had shown up for her truth and bravery.
I thought about how her words applied to me. I made a decision and took action (with good human guidance). I decided when I met former students—there are a lot of them—I would ask them this question:
What was your experience of me as a teacher?
Then I uncross my arms, take a few deep breaths, and get quiet enough to listen—hoping for the truth and watching how it lands in me.
How it happens is not in my control. I'll meet people where they are. The only thing I can do is be ready. I can meet in person (at a distance). It can happen on social media, in direct messages, via email. I've had face to face and Zoom meetings with some. I do have a few boundaries.
My experiences thus far have been important.