Dr. Angela Jenks shares about her experiences encouraging accountability in her students on today’s episode of the Teaching in Higher Ed podcast.
Guest: Angela Jenks
Angela is a medical anthropologist and Lecturer, PSOE (Tenure-Track Teaching Faculty) in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine, where she also directs the M.A. in Medicine, Science, and Technology Studies program.
It’s not necessarily a kindness to not fulfill the requirements of the class.
One of the challenges is holding standards while not turning the classroom into an adversarial situation.
One of the things I focus on increasingly is very clear policies.
I didn’t want the syllabus to turn into something that reads like a Terms of Service.
Mentioned in Episode
- Race Gender Science syllabus (inspired by Tona Hagen's “Extreme Makeover” of her History syllabus)
- In Praise of Slowness* by Carl Honore
Podcast episodes on kindness:
- Episode 057: Teaching with Twitter (Jesse Stommel)
- Episode 052: Respect in the Classroom (Kevin Gannon)
- Episode 019: Small Teaching (James Lang)
Podcast episode on Attitude:
- Episode 062: Mindset (Rebecca Campbell)
Allowing students to “show up.” Consider this quote from Anne Lamott (who was mentioned on Episode 070 with Amy Collier):
I had a session over the phone with my therapist today. I have these secret pangs of shame about being single, like I wasn't good enough to get a husband. Rita reminded me of something I'd told her once, about the five rules of the world as arrived at by this Catholic priest named Tom Weston.
The first rule, he says, is that you must not have anything wrong with you or anything different.
The second one is that if you do have something wrong with you, you must get over it as soon as possible.
The third rule is that if you can't get over it, you must pretend that you have.
The fourth rule is that if you can't even pretend that you have, you shouldn't show up. You should stay home, because it’s hard for everyone else to have you around.
And the fifth rule is that if you are going to insist on showing up, you should at least have the decency to feel ashamed.
So Rita and I decided that the most subversive, revolutionary thing I could do was to show up for my life and not be ashamed.