Round-Up: Back to School

“Back to school” hits different when you’re a final year grad student…

Black woman with curly hair, dark glasses, and gold upside down U earrings wearing a black turtleneck and black cardigan. Looking at shelves full of books. Computer screen in the background.

Did you know that a common side-effect of being a PhD candidate is time blindness?

Okay, I don’t know that for sure, but I have been in this boat for a while. When you’re not teaching or taking classes, the days and weeks really start to blur together. Is it Monday? Thursday? Sunday?

The only way I keep track these days is by scheduling meetings, planning events, or being reminded that a new episode of a TV show I’m watching is on.

Usually, not knowing what day of the week it is isn’t that big of a problem. All I really need to know is whether it’s a weekday or the weekend, so I can decide whether I should be working or not.

Occasionally, I find it important to be aware of the beginning and end of the academic term. As a graduate student this helps me determine how frequently I should be in contact with my advisor and committee (more during the academic year, less in the summer). Right now, it’s also useful for deciding when to schedule my thesis defense (y i k e s).

As the person who’s running this blog, knowing when classes start is important for deciding when to get this post out.

After a nearly four-month break, I thought this was an easy way to get back into blogging.

If something feels super overwhelming, break it into small, easy steps. First step to reviving the blog? Make a round-up (or two, or three).

This month’s theme is back-to-school.

As it turns out, I’ve written a lot about pedagogy. So, I figured I’d put all those posts in one place, for folks who want to check them out before term starts.

Syllabus Shake-Up Challenge

A 5-Day challenge for increasing/encouraging student engagement with your syllabi

Day 1: Syllabus Audit

Day 2: Traditional vs Innovative Strategies for Syllabus Engagement

Day 3: Examples of Syllabus Engagement Strategies in Action

Day 4: Common Harmful Assumptions We Make About Students

Day 5: Reflection

Teaching Strategies

Small (Anti-Racist) Teaching

General Advice

5 Things I Wish I’d Known My First Time Teaching

3 Lessons I Learned from Guest Lecturing this Semester

The Power of ‘I Don’t Know’

5 Things We Need to Sacrifice in Classics

Books I’ve Read Lately

Small Teaching by James Lang (2016)

Creating Significant Learning Experiences by L. Dee Fink (2013)

Around the Internet

Check out this Twitter thread by Remi Kalir on annotated syllabi

One of my favorite posts: Against Cop Shit by Jeffrey Moro

A great Twitter thread by Nicole Lee Schroeder on accommodations

What are some of your favorite resources for equitable, inclusive, and accessible teaching? What strategies are you using this term?

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