Friday, February 22, 2013

Teaching Challenge!

I have a student who has the most amazing small child; this child, maybe five or six, has come to class several times now (snow days, like today, for example), and he quietly draws on the white board to the side of the room.  (This is a small class, so it's not a distraction, and he's very quiet.)

Today, however, the student came in with his child, and said that perhaps he shouldn't bring the child to class because we're discussing the second day of "The Miller's Tale."  But I said, sure, bring him in, since most of what we're discussing isn't specifically inappropriate to a small child, and I could circle the rest, I figured.

So that was the challenge of the day.  And it worked pretty well (and we'll have a bit of time on Monday for anything more that needs to be said).

I'm not usually a big fan of kids in classes, but I'm pretty satisfied when they're occasional visitors, and well-behaved, and it makes it possible for the parents to come and participate in class.  But this child is totally wonderful as a class guest.


  1. Anonymous1:19 PM

    I learned a lot from sitting in my mom's classes while she taught teachers how to teach back when I was age 6 or so. Sometimes professors have childcare emergencies too!

  2. I've had students bring children to class, and they've always been very good. The only time I thought I needed to reorient my teaching FAST was when an African American man brought his 9 or 10-y.o. African American niece to class on the day I had planned to talk about the visual representation of enslaved bodies in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

    I thought it was especially important not to give that exact lecture without a great deal of editing of the images I show the students because I teach at an overwhelmingly white institution. The last thing I wanted to do was to expose her to upsetting and demeaning images of black people, because I hadn't prepared her for them the way I had prepared my undergrad students.

  3. Oh, wow, Historiann, that's a difficult one. Pictures are so much more intense than readings, I think, and moving images perhaps even more so. It's great that you were able to reorient your lecture as necessary. Mine wasn't nearly that difficult.