March 18, 2020 | Bringing It #34: Teaching In the Time of Coronavirus

Dear friends,

While all of us shelter in place, trying to stem or slow the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that we stay connected to and supportive of each other. The BTtoP staff are scattered right now in North Carolina (Caitlin), Oklahoma (Mercedes), New Hampshire (Kate), and Michigan (David). But we are one in the hope that you are safe and healthy. And we want to stay connected with you as you navigate the educational needs of the emergency we’re all facing.

We know that many readers of Bringing It are scrambling for the first time to move your teaching and your work with students onto online platforms. Here are a few resources that have struck us as especially valuable and encouraging: 

  • Beth McMurtrie of the Chronicle of Higher Education published an excellent column, “Preparing for Emergency Online Teaching,” which includes links to a variety of resource guides issued by different universities.
  • Many of you know the work of the Hope Center at Temple University in documenting and supporting the material needs of college students. Here is a brief guide they’ve issued, “BEYOND THE FOOD PANTRY: Supporting #RealCollege Students During COVID19”.
  • Cathy Davidson and Christina Katopodis co-authored a terrific op-ed in Inside Higher Ed on best practices for engaged online teaching, “Transforming Your Online Teaching From Crisis to Community”. 
  • Finally, “Hope Matters” is a wonderful column from this week’s Inside Higher Ed, by Pima Community College faculty member (and neuroscientist) Mays Imad; it offers ten strategies for supporting students’ well-being, overcoming their isolation, and engaging their fears.

As you grapple with this emergency, we would love to hear from you and learn from you. If and when things settle down, let us know what your experience has been via info@bttop.org. How have you tried to build community with your students? Have you found ways of supporting active and experiential learning? Have you found ways of attending to the well-being of your students—and yourselves?

Covid-19 is a threat to our social and emotional health, not only our bodies. That makes it a threat to the kind of learning and teaching, the kind of educational values, our BTtoP community stands for. As you work to defeat those threats, please take care of yourselves, your loved ones, and your students.

With gratitude for everything you do, 

David, Caitlin, Mercedes, and Kate