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Community Standards: Five Ways to Join the Conversation

  1. Offer your take on the anchor texts. So you’ve read the anchor texts — bully for you! Tell us what you think the author is really getting at, perhaps another way of looking at the topic to help round out our discussion.
  2. Connect to what’s happening in your classroom. One of our main goals is to use this space to share our classroom experiences — all of them. This way, we can we can identify trends and figure out how to address them, together. We want to hear your successes, yes, but we also want to hear what didn’t quite work (yet), or what worked with one class but not another. We want to hear about experiments, flukes, one-offs, struggles, and mistakes, too; we want to celebrate your triumphs with you and help you puzzle through the things that keep you up at night.
  3. Ask questions. We’re all teachers here, so I don’t need to belabor how important it is to ask questions, but I will because that’s what teachers do. Hans-Georg Gadamer writes, “The essence of the question is the opening up, and keeping open, of possibilities.” Good questions are better than easy answers; they are places of possibility that help us learn and grow.
  4. Connect to outside texts that others might find useful. We know you know a lot, you know? Help us grow our reading lists!
  5. Share posts, give kudos, and invite colleagues to join in. Our community of practice is multi-modal, incorporating face-to-face discussions and electronic exploration of ideas. Not everyone is comfortable in every format, but we can create synergy by encouraging each other to engage.

  • Zeroing Out Inequity

    January 10, 2022 by

    by Kirsten Gerdes During my second year at RCC, I ran into a student on campus I’d had my first year. He asked whether I was offering the class again he’d had with me the previous year since he’d failed the course. After confirming that I was offering the class again the next semester, he… Read more

  • Conferencing and Conversation: Talking to Students

    November 5, 2021 by

    I. Office Hours: “Can we talk?” Trepidation—a likely descriptor for our students’ emotional response to the prospect of making an office hours visit. What leads me to this assumption is, in part, my own undergrad experience. I was an above-average student with a subdued affect and a solid record of attendance. I was also, in… Read more

  • Is It Worth It?

    October 14, 2021 by

    Last spring, one of my high performing students protested the “extreme workload” in my English 1B class. We were already several terms into pandemic teaching, and I had assiduously scaled down, lowered stakes, and increased flexibility. Taken aback, I tried explaining the purpose of the assignments, their sequencing, and their relative weight, but he was… Read more

  • Addressing Hot Moments in the Classroom through Democratic Participation Strategies

    September 2, 2021 by

    THE IMPORTANCE OF DISCUSSION IN HIGHER EDUCATION Critical thinking and discussion are important parts of the higher education classroom, let alone important skills for a thriving democracy. Adult education theorist John Dewey (2011) describes the necessity for challenging discussion as a democratic imperative. Discussion is a fundamental strategy for developing a critical consciousness and promoting… Read more

  • What Worked? (A Best Practices Review)

    May 12, 2021 by

    Well. A lot didn’t. And I hope you have or are making space for venting and perhaps listing and ceremonially burning on a funeral pyre all of those things that did not go well, and that the group chat will take you back in a virtual hug when you’ve sent your eleventy-billionth frustrated, exasperated, desperate… Read more

  • Addressing Student Resistance to Discourses of Diversity

    April 4, 2021 by

    **Due to the nature of the topic, we felt that it was important to cite from scholarly work completed within the last 6-8 years. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that this is a discussion about classroom dynamics, which does not supersede the vital significance of acknowledging resistance within macro-levels of an institution,… Read more

  • Making Effective Use of Texts in the Class

    March 11, 2021 by

    What an amazing resource those who have preceded us have compiled for our Community of Practice! We’ve been privileged to have been introduced (or reintroduced) to a range of voices propelling the discussion of important and timely topics such as culturally responsive teaching, anti-racist teaching practices, selecting representative and inclusive texts, and making data-informed decisions.… Read more

  • Why Use Data?

    January 29, 2021 by

    This is Part 2 of a post on reflective data analysis and responsive teaching tools. See the first post here. For those whom I have not yet had the privilege to work with, my name is Brandon Owashi and I am the Director of Institutional Research at Riverside City College. I am amazed by the content… Read more

  • Minding the Gap

    January 22, 2021 by

    In preparations for the January workshop, I have been thinking about the word “gap” in educational discourse. As we have discussed many times over the past decade, particularly moving through acceleration to answer the call of AB705, the term appeared in so many phrases that reflected deficit-minded judgments about students (e.g. “achievement gap,” “skills gap,”… Read more

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