Friday, January 17, 2020
First Day Jitters
20 years teaching and I still get nervous on the first day. That means I still care and I'm still shy. It takes a while to get my teaching voice in shape and to relax and show my personality. I pass out the syllabus on the first day and all that regular jazz and I normally have a set plan with notes and bullet points but on the first day of my Social Stratification class next week I'm going to try to be loose and get right into a conversation with students. Before introducing the subject matter I think I'll ask them to give their thoughts and rough definitions of social class and ask them what they think and know about inequality. And ask them what they see in media (all media, including social media) that informs their views about social class and inequality. I think that will start the course on a good note and establish an environment where we talk and listen to each other. Sure I'll cover the assignments and expectations for the course and other professor stuff a professor does but I think the really important thing is to get them talking and thinking on day 1. I think sometimes we look for fun "icebreakers" but if you think about it, when students are talking and listening to each other the ice is being broken.