Spring 2014 Manifesto

I think there will always be a tension in my teaching between creating a safe space and attempting to provoke or disrupt. Both seem to be necessary elements of/for learning. In the past I have erred too heavily on creating a safe space and wanting students to like me. This semester, I commit to provoke, and to read about pedagogies of disruption/crisis/discomfort by people like Boler and Kumashiro to consider what these practices might look like in teacher education.

I have also resolved to find new indicators of good teaching for myself. The student evaluations at my university report mostly on whether students like me and feel like the course met their expectations, not whether students had a significant learning experience. I wonder, what other indicators will I accept as valid beyond my own relative level of satisfaction? Or is that it?

Finally, I resolve to feed my intellectual soul, which is perhaps the most satisfying yet most frequently cast aside element of my university position. I will read, present, discuss, write about, and foster ideas. I will collaborate with people who have interesting ideas and not spend undue energy on institutional obligations disguised as opportunities. I will pursue my scholarship confidently alongside people who foster intellectual voracity by offering their own ideas and critique.

May 2014 be a happy, healthier year of scholarship!