Students that take online courses often talk about how lonely and isolated they feel because they do not experience the community feeling they have when they are in a classroom. Many times it is true and that is why I strive to create an online community for my students in my online courses so they do not feel secluded. However, no one really talks about the isolation that an online instructor feels when s/he does not have colleagues around. You are all excited about not having to drive to work and after a couple of weeks you realize that something is missing in this whole set up. Uh oh there are no people around to talk to!
When I began my journey as an online instructor I did not realize how lonely it would be for me and how disconnected I would feel at home. Teaching online has its benefits for sure. For starters, I do not have to deal with commuting back and forth or the weather here in the northeast.
Although teaching online keeps me busy I can’t help but wonder is there anybody out there and what are they up to. By that I mean what do other online instructors do besides work from home? Do they raise a family like me? Do they do research? Write? Travel?