Statement of Teaching Philosophy

Updated December 29, 2017 I will never apologize for supporting and defending students. I will also never apologize for challenging them and helping them think and work in ways and with greater intensity than they ever thought possible! My exact teaching philosophy varies according to the institution, the department, the course, the students, and evenContinue reading “Statement of Teaching Philosophy”

The “Big Idea” Writing Syllabus

1. Homo sapiens and their ancestors have always communicated with one another and with other forms of life. Studying this communication is important, as is participating in various forms of communication. Language controls us, and we control languages.  2. The development of spoken and written languages represents one of the greatest accomplishments in history, making sophisticated communicationContinue reading “The “Big Idea” Writing Syllabus”

“TODAY ONLY” Extra Credit Opportunity – A Surprising Teaching Experiment

On Sunday, November 5, 2017, I had an idea. I immediately emailed all of my students during the middle of the afternoon. The email announced an extra credit opportunity that would only be available until 11:59 pm. I gave students a few blog articles to read and requested that they leave a meaningful comment onContinue reading ““TODAY ONLY” Extra Credit Opportunity – A Surprising Teaching Experiment”

Students, Professors, and the Joys of Office Hours

Conversations with fellow professors often turn to the topic of office hours and their frustrated comments about how students never utilize this time. In contrast to some my colleagues, my office hours are always wonderfully busy with students. Frequently, I even have a line of students waiting to visit with me! Sometimes there are soContinue reading “Students, Professors, and the Joys of Office Hours”

Being Disabled And Unconditionally Rejected in Higher Education

At some institutions of higher education, faculty who are not perfectly able-bodied are effectively barred from even stepping on campus. Such practices—on top of the already-difficult job market and added to the ubiquity of microaggressions directed toward us crip people—automatically move some of society’s most educated people into the stack of unconditionally rejected applicants.        Continue reading “Being Disabled And Unconditionally Rejected in Higher Education”

More Queer Studies Class Poems

Everything has been so busy, I almost forgot to share the poems my students in Introduction to Queer Studies wrote this semester–they gave me permission to share them! (Spring 2017 poems are here.) These are the poems they write as an entire class. My contribution is the opening line, “Growing up it was always expected…”Continue reading “More Queer Studies Class Poems”

Facts Exist on a Spectrum – Adventures Teaching Writing

Teaching First Year Writing this semester continues to be an exciting, interesting journey. A few nights ago, I was trying to decide how I wanted to address a lesson introducing the broad topic of facts, opinions, arguments, and related topics. My approach always involves both discussion and the philosophy. The lesson ended up being transformative for the students, according toContinue reading “Facts Exist on a Spectrum – Adventures Teaching Writing”

Ali Mroue and Life Before and After Being a University Student from Lebanon – Interview Series #7

The seventh installment in my interview series spotlights the experience and wisdom of (the future Dr.) Ali Mroue! I first met Ali in the Spring 2013 when he was a student in one of my United States History from 1877 Lab classes at the University of Houston. Ali was a remarkable student–in terms of hisContinue reading “Ali Mroue and Life Before and After Being a University Student from Lebanon – Interview Series #7”