teaching moment #89349582034

i don’t think there’s a way i can get this moment across without straightup storytelling, so i won’t try:i teach two discussion sections. one meets from 1-1:50 and one meets from 2-2:50. for the last 15 minutes or so of my 1pm class, the discussion got heated. not the students debating or arguing each other, but unpacking/breaking down what went down in lecture two days ago (having to do with racism, privilege, power, codeswitching). this is delightful on several levels. (1. did you ever notice how an entire group can have a personality? that’s how i feel about classes. and this class had a quiet/gotta pull teeth to get it to talk personality. so the delight on this level is that they’re talking! 2. not only are they talking, but they’re making well articulated points). those students leave at the end of class and the students of the next discussion section trickle in… two of the students who have just walked in talk about how stuffy it is in the room (i have been teaching in this room for 15 weeks and have yet to hear someone say it’s stuffy). i notice i’m warm/feeling the stuffiness myself. i can’t help but think that the new students noticing this are obviously picking up on an energy that was left behind from the heated conversation that took place here minutes ago. (how badass is that? for the intensity of ideas and opinions of ideas raising the temperature, the tone of the room??? especially when the critical look the students are giving these ideas are breaking down racism, systems of power and privilege.) so we propped the garbage can in between the doorframe and door and let the cool hallway air leak in.