College teachers in the humanities teaching general courses:
Your students are afraid that their kids won’t live a long life because of the climate change crisis. People are being beaten by the police because they are Black and Brown. Children are being separated from their families and locked up in cages. Chile and Bolivia out here resisting the bs. Talk about that. Learn about those things with your students.Tie that shit into your syllabus. A HUGE amount of time should be devoted to issues that our colonialist, imperialist, white supremacy, patriarchy have caused. Don’t act like you doing something big because you spent 2 weeks talking about it. Think bigger.
Stop teaching about dumb ethical problems that don’t affect people. Stop talking about serious ass ethical dilemmas in unrealistics contexts. Stop presenting dumb ethical dilemmas to your students that you KNOW ain’t serious ethical dilemmas. Just because it’s interesting to think about or just because it presents a paradox, don’t mean yall should be talking about it. Stop acting like the shit u wanna teach is worthy to be taught in a world where the rape statistics are where they are, where black and brown girls are going missing, when corporations are fucking with Black and Brown people’s drinking water. Don't say you make space to teach your students about ethical problems if you don’t actually discuss actually ass ethical problems that our students are facing. Stop going to conferences and colloquialisms bragging about how you teach them shitty ethical dilemmas. You not a teacher. You are a waste of your students time.
Students are not containers for you to disseminate information into. Stop being afraid to learn and grow with your students. Stop being afraid to show your students that you can learn from them.
Students shouldn’t have to do a lot of assignments because it makes you feel at ease, because it keeps you assured that they are learning something. Your insecurities are not their problem.
Students shouldn’t have to encounter material that you don’t even like because it’s more efficient for you to teach it. Take care of yourself and take care of your students by teaching what yall both can learn from, what yall all would find interesting.
Students shouldn’t be forced to learn an obscene amount of material that you think is important if they aren’t majoring in your field.
Students shouldn’t have to take a whole bunch of tests and quizzes to make you feel better that they are learning the material. They are grown ass adults, grown ass human beings. Let them take away what they want to take away from the class.
Many students are stressed about grades. Add the teacher/student power dynamics and you will get a classroom that will most likely see you/treat you as an authority figure. We don’t have to do weird shit so they students respect us because the set up ensures that they most likely will from the get-go. If a student does not respect us because we are a minority, then they won’t start because they are in your class and you have cool techniques up your sleeve to make them respect us.
Students shouldn’t have to endure long ass lectures from you. Nobody likes listening to long ass lectures. Remember what you hated as a student. Try not to do those things.
Start caring about your students. Do better. Be better.
Develop a syllabus that reminds you why you fell in love with your field. If you do this, you will have lots to talk about with your students. If you really love the material, you will be at a better position to conjure up lots of activities and you will be able to support them in having lots of cool conversations about the material. You will be able to do this because the stuff that interests you about the material will probably also interest you students.
Remember that your students got a lot of stressors. Design a class that lifts them up, not drain them mentally. Create a space where they can come to learn about and discuss cool ideas. Create a space to reflect on themselves, their life, society, and relationships in a way that challenges them and encourages them to be a better person, a better citizen of the world.
Talk with your students. Respect them. Truly try to interact with them on a human level. Show that you care. Show them that your class can be a space where people can care about each other. How do you do this? Think back to when people in your life have respected you, have engaged with you in the way that I am describing. Try and practice that with your students.