When her students were in her class, they loved to learn. They raised their hands, finished their homework, and participated in class discussions. But once they left the classroom and started listening to the lectures of other teachers, they returned to the broken and outdated education system, where students work hard for the promise of good grades but not for the love of learning.
Ana wants to re-architect the education system. But for years, she didn’t know how to make meaningful change, and even though she had ideas, she was “just a teacher.”
She isn’t digitally savvy, and before she joined Write of Passage, she had never published an article online. Her Twitter account was inactive, her website didn’t exist, and she hadn’t written an essay since college.
More difficult. English is her third language. She lives in Panama and is much more comfortable speaking Spanish and Portuguese. Speaking in English is hard enough, let alone writing.
On the first day of Write of Passage, she felt like an underdog.
Do I belong here? Can I succeed as an online writer? Am I ever going to learn how to write?
But then, her relationship with the Internet changed. She began writing articles and getting feedback from classmates. Her confidence started to build. Halfway through the course, she sent me the following email: “This is the most excited I’ve been in a while. Since we started the course, my mind has been rushing non-stop with ideas.”
Her message spread one article at a time. Then, one of her tweets went viral.
3,000 retweets. 17,000 likes. Hundreds of new email subscribers.
After she went viral, David congratulated her. She responded with delight and the amazement that comes when you feel the magic of the Internet for the first time.
Today, Ana is the Chief Evangelist for an Elon Musk affiliated school called Synthesis. She’s responsible for recruiting students, talking to parents, and illustrating how the Internet is changing the way kids learn.