From my first teaching experience at Rutgers—Sociology 101 over the summer—to my current position at Portland State University teaching gender & mental health, I have always been inspired by my students. Students and their “a-ha!” moments are what get me out of bed in the morning. My goals for all teaching- whether it’s a 100-person Soc 101 course or an advanced theory course with only 2 students- is to instill in students the “sociological imagination.” I want to help students see the mundane world with a fresh lens to reveal previously hidden discrimination, bias, or social categories. The sociological imagination can open worlds to students; I know it did for me.
I am currently teaching online due to Covid-19, and I have found online teaching challenging. Mostly because I love the “give and take” in a good seminar course. A great lesson is when the entire class is engaged in conversation and intelligent debate. Asynchronous online classes don’t allow for that, so I apologize in advance for the long Zoom lectures. My goal for the discussion board on the course website is to simulate that back-and-forth discussion and debate. I want to foster, always, critical discussion of the course materials.