During recent semesters many attending college have used social media to share their thoughts on pursuing an education during a pandemic. We went to Reddit, where Temple students were already sharing their stories, and asked for anonymous quotes that we might pass on to you. In this EDvice Exchange entry we’ll be sharing a selection of these posts, to highlight the lengths to which some of our wonderful Temple instructors went as well as how those efforts impacted their students. We extend our heartfelt thanks to these faculty members and the others like them who worked so hard over the last year.
“Dr. Talissa Ford was super understanding about some of us not wanting to be on camera or not being able complete work because of personal reasons.”
“Israel Vasquez is another great professor. Take literally any of his classes and you won’t regret it. He modified his Scene Analysis class in respect to social distancing and the isolation that we were living in. Even when personal issues came up he always made time for us.”
“Professor Michael Klein. I took his honors Soundtrack of the Apocalypse Class and he was super flexible. He didn’t want the class to stress anyone out at all, so he gave out extensions and limited reading assignments in favor of doing more scene analysis in class so that the homework was never oppressive. Even on the final paper he sent us a canvas message the day it was due (after the two day extension he gave us) saying not to stress anyone out but the final paper is due today, so if you have it ready by five that would be great. Felt very little pressure in his class. If you have the opportunity to take a class with him, especially in the foreseeable future, do it. Super chill and super flexible.”
“Professor Roth in psychology. She would take time every class to ask how we are doing and would remind us every class to make time for self care. I loved how on the last day she said ‘I don’t like saying ‘goodbye’ because it sounds so formal, so see you all later.’”
“The man, the myth, the legendary Prof. Mike Hughes. Incredible morale booster and source of motivation. Ended every class with ‘Your friends care about yous, your family cares about yous, and I care about yous.’
The theme we pick out from these and many of the other quotes we’ll be sharing is simple: good education begins by acknowledging that students aren’t simply learning machines, but rather our fellow human beings. When we cultivate an ethic of care where we treat them with kindness and respect, great things can happen in the classroom.
One last thing: See a colleague mentioned above? Consider sending them a quick note of thanks for going the extra mile. Instructors need words of kindness and encouragement, too!