When students enter the classroom, they show up in their full complexity, with many layers and intersecting identities. In other words, they don’t just bring their intellects, which of course are not separable from all the other things that characterize people—background experience, hopes, concerns, physical and mental health (and/or health issues), and lots more. This is why Georgetown calls on us to “educate the whole person.”
That call animates a lot of work here at CNDLS. For one thing, we work with faculty to develop “Engelhard courses,” which are courses that integrate a conscious attention to student well-being. But making the classroom a healthy place doesn’t require a total overhaul. For faculty who want to take smaller steps—getting to know students a little better, thinking more deliberately about what students carry with them into the classroom, offering small opportunities for reflection or mindfulness—we’ve collected some thoughts and opportunities on the Teaching Well-Being page on our Teaching Commons. That page can also direct you to campus safety net resources for any of your students who might be experiencing significant personal difficulties.
All the best to you and your students—and, as always, reach out to us if there’s anything we can do to help!
This spring, we’re using the CNDLS blog to highlight the Teaching Commons, a compilation of resources and case studies designed to help faculty revitalize their courses and gain insights into practical issues in pedagogy at Georgetown. As a living resource, the site evolves to encompass new scholarship in teaching and learning, as well as technological innovations that are changing and enhancing the current teaching landscape. To help you explore all that the Commons has to offer, we’re showcasing tools and other information on a semi-weekly basis, guiding you through the semester in real time. Missed the other posts? Check out our takes on crafting a syllabus, starting the semester, leading discussions, evaluating learning, designing assignments, and active learning, then hear from fellow faculty in our interview highlights.