The Quandary of the Female Professor

It’s that time again for a new term to begin. I’m meeting all of my master’s and doctoral students in these first couple of weeks, and I’m faced with the same dilemma I’ve faced since I began as a professor 6.5 years ago. Do I change my teaching style to deal with the inherent sexism and internalized oppression of my students?

This might seem like a dramatic claim. Most of my students are women, after all, so how can sexism be impacting my teaching? Unfortunately, it’s the sad truth. I’m a teaching professor, so the vast majority of my performance evaluation is based on student course evaluations. Those little bubbles that students fill in at the end of the course are significant…… Read More The Quandary of the Female Professor

Teaching about Ferguson: A call to white teachers.

The events in Ferguson have caused me to continually ask myself what could have prevented this situation.  I’ve seen no end of white people (and exactly one person of color) posting about how if Michael Brown had just behaved better toward Darren Wilson, then he wouldn’t have been killed.  If Trayvon Martin had just chosen “more… Read More Teaching about Ferguson: A call to white teachers.

Teachers instead of Tests

It is no secret that I am no fan of standardized tests. I strongly believe that they are killing public education, and I am terrified at what our educational system will look like in 20 years. We desperately want to be the best, and so we devise test after test to hold students and teachers accountable.

Who is it that we think we need to hold accountable? We have these mythical “bad teachers” who just aren’t doing their jobs. Those teachers do exist, but they are a small percentage. The vast majority of teachers out there are good teachers. Because, you see, teachers don’t become teachers for the money (or even for the summer breaks). They become teachers because they have a passion for inspiring and educating young minds.… Read More Teachers instead of Tests

Voting for School Board

I live in a somewhat rural Parish in Louisiana. We’re mostly oil refineries and plants, with a few towns thrown in. Now, in my district, we’ve got a contentious school board election happening. What that means is that every intersection is peppered with campaign signs, including a sign campaigning for someone with the nickname “Worm.” It’s Louisiana – what can I say? I’ve had numerous pamphlets dropped off at the door, quite a few robocalls, and several candidates knocking on my door. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for them) they all knocked at inopportune times so I wasn’t able to talk to them.

If I had been able to talk to them I might have asked them simple questions like:… Read More Voting for School Board