Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

As some of you know, I use my first two weeks of classes to schedule face-to-face meetings with individual students in my classes so that I can get to know them better. This is one of my top strategies for increasing participation in class, and it really works. But this week I had a first time thing happen–I was the one who with tears in my eyes as I talked with a student. I have a student who I’ll call Jonathan who has a stuttering disability that makes it hard for him to speak–especially now, through a mask. In spite of this, he contributes to class discussion without fear or anxiety, and he has incredibly insightful things to say, to boot. In our meeting I was thanking him for participating, because I imagine it would be easier for him to stay quiet. So I had tears in my eyes as I told him how he will never know how encouraging this will be to other students. If he can speak up, why can’t they? Jonathan has so much emotional and spiritual maturity, and he is simply a delightful human being. I told him that I have a son on the autism spectrum, and that he could not possibly know how much he made my week just from participating in class. I’m sharing this story because this is why we do this called teaching. Not just for them, but for us. And we get to stand by and watch people overcome obstacles to be the best version of themselves that they can be. What is better than that????

There’s still time to take The Flourishing Teacher Fall Retreat! Don’t miss it. Email me for a discount code. Free for adjunct faculty, because you are the underpaid workhorses of our industry. Thank you.

Are you living in an echo chamber?

Sometimes you just have to teach off script. Here’s why. I’ve been teaching American literature for over 25 years, and it enables me to raise all kinds of issue of central importance today, including our persistent failure to move beyond the racist attitudes present at the founding of the United States. But sometimes we need

Read More »

Why we do this!

As some of you know, I use my first two weeks of classes to schedule face-to-face meetings with individual students in my classes so that I can get to know them better. This is one of my top strategies for increasing participation in class, and it really works. But this week I had a first

Read More »

Flourishing Teacher Fall Retreat Now Available!

I’ve been working all summer on this retreat, so I’m so excited to finally make it available. If you are anxious about the start of the school year and need a vocational renewal, this retreat is for you! I extended the work I did on my book to provide strategies for success with Zoom, as

Read More »
Scroll to Top