“What do we do now?”: Teaching after the Election

[This is a developing post, and will be continually updated with additional resources]

How do we process the election results in our classrooms?

As a school with a diverse student population, including many international and first-generation U.S. American students, members of your classes might be feeling afraid, angry, or sad about the results. Other students might fear for their bodily safety. And other students might be celebrating the results.

How do we provide a safe learning environment for all of our students?

Not every teaching style is appropriate for every instructor or class, so pick the ones that work for you. Be prepared to change things around if the discussion/lesson/work isn’t working.

But as the instructor, you will be able to read your students better than anyone else. Some students may need the structure of the planned lesson, while other classes can’t focus on the assigned readings and will need time to process their thoughts.

The University of Michigan Center for Research on Learning and Teaching lists guidelines for classroom discussions on difficult topics:

http://www.crlt.umich.edu/publinks/generalguidelines

Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, has resources on how to productively focus after the election:

http://www.tolerance.org/blog/day-after

Vanderbilt University, Center for Teaching, has a guide for how to have difficult dialogues in your classroom. The page includes a few specific tools to facilitate productive dialogues:

https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/difficult-dialogues/

The Chronicle of Higher Education details a few examples of acknowledging your own political position or attempting to appear objective in front of your students:

http://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Tricky-Task-of-Teaching/238209?cid=cp40

Kalle Westerling, Futures Initiative Fellow, describes his class discussion and a few crowd-sourced tools for Humanities and Arts classes:

https://www.hastac.org/blogs/kallewesterling/2016/11/09/crying-front-my-class-first-time-ever