Hello, my heroes! I have been completely impressed and humbled by the generosity of our teaching psychology community in the wake of this extraordinary time dealing with COVID-19. As this virus – such a tiny little thing – has such a big impact on everyone, I have seen so many ways that our community has reached out to be “all in” with helping everyone move to online or home learning.
The Facebook group has grown as people recognize the quality of the resources being shared there in the spirit of doing what is right for students. So many individual members – more than I can recognize specifically here – have given their time and expertise publicly and privately over the last couple of weeks to help those who are shifting to a totally new (to them) platform of teaching. I thank everyone so much for making that group a part of the “helper” community. Shout out to Lyra Stein, Chair of our Member Communication Committee and her colleagues on the committee for managing it so well!
It feels like STP has been preparing unknowingly for this kind of thing for a while now – we have people who not only teach online regularly but engage in the scholarship of teaching and learning about online teaching. Our members know how to set up and deliver instruction online, and we know some of the conditions and practices under which it works best. We all recognize that things will not all go smoothly as we go to full online instruction at our institutions, but we can feel confident that people are nearby (both physically and virtually) to lend a hand when things feel wrong. I am so proud to be a part of such an outstanding community!
Our Spring 2020 STP Executive Committee meeting, scheduled for March 27-29 in my city Birmingham, Alabama, has been canceled. We are working as a group to find time to meet virtually. Like many of us who are grieving missed opportunities and experiences, I am heartbroken not to be able to share my city with our fabulous EC. STP sponsors so many programs that involve travel and support for conferences, and we are so sad that people who were supported by our various programs and grants cannot use them this spring and early summer. The EC has voted on a set of policies regarding deferring awards and grants that hopefully will fulfill those in the coming year. If you have incurred travel expenses that were to be funded by STP, please review our new policiesso we can work with you on those expenses.
I truly hope that we can work together as a larger community to do our part to flatten the curve with this virus so that we can get back to meeting and learning together in person. Virtual meetings and learning certainly have their charm. As an introvert who works from home already and likes her personal space, I can’t say I’m struggling with social isolation and distance. But I do look forward to reducing the social distance I need to keep from other people and seeing y’all face-to-face, especially y’all in my cherished STP family.
Be safe and well with you and yours. Reach out when you need. Help where you can. We will persist!
STP President 2020