Empathy and Critique: Assessing Accessibility

In my seven years of teaching college and high school students, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with many differently abled students. It really challenges me, as a teacher and a scholar, to make my classes and my research accessible and available to all people, no matter a person’s preference or need for a particular learning modality. Even though I am teaching 250 students this semester, I don’t want to lose the ability to empathize with students who are struggling with their home, work, school, activist, etc. life–whether or not they tell me what they are going through. I remember I was almost placed on academic probation my first year of college. Well, we grow, and I am proud to have had that experience. Look at where I am now. I am no pushover, but as a professor, I want to be able to offer resources to all students so that they can pursue their passions, whatever they may be. Today, I covered the terrible transformation that resulted in the normalization of race-based slavery in the US and the racialization of enslaved African and native peoples. If anything, I just want my students to become critical thinkers who can connect the dots between religion; wealth accumulation; labor exploitation; racist social, economic, and political structures; and the long dureé of trauma.

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