This semester, Professor Pantoja will be teaching US Politics: Resistance and Transformation. This course is uniquely framed through the lens of marginalized groups, and students will provide first-person accounts of local politics from their communities.
Diving In: new models
“For me, the most important thing is smaller classes, so I’m going to have breakout sessions with about 7-8 students in each so that the discussions are going to be far more intense in this online setting,”
Diving In: new connections
“In my classes I’m also going to be incorporating assignments that help to foster community…not only connections with me, but I want connections between the students…students that are geographically close will work on assignments together.”
Diving In: new models
“…and then I started seeing, in the midst of this crisis, people coming out. People taking to the streets…and in my Politics class I am very eager to learn from them what’s happening on the ground.”
For me, it’s really important to note each and every individual student is in a unique situation. There’s a lot of things that I know that I’m going to be doing and that a lot of faculty members are going to be doing to make sure students make progress toward successfully completing their courses, progress toward successfully completing their degree.
Initially, I was thrown into these waters that are unfamiliar to me. But I feel pretty comfortable, now I’m able to swim in those waters. I’m able as a surfer, I’m able to surf those that break. The takeaway is simplicity, but don’t lose content; maintain the rigor. For me, the most important thing is smaller classes. So I’m going to have breakout sessions with about seven to eight students in each session, so that the discussions are going to be far more intense in this online city because there’s some really neat assignments that I’m able to do this semester that I would not be able to do if we were meeting in person.
The sense of community is going to be one of the unique challenges in this environment. So in my classes, I’m also going to be incorporating assignments that helps to foster community, helps to foster not only connections with me, but I want connections with the students. Students are going to be analyzing politics and political culture in their communities, and are you going to be able to report back on what’s happening in those communities. I’m going to use that opportunity to connect students that are geographically close to work on those assignments together to interact with each other. So there’s creative ways that students are going to connect.
It’s easy to feel like it’s not the same college. We’ve lost something, largely looking at this crisis from a deficit perspective. What if we lost? Maybe I’ll just wait it out. And when things get back to normal, I’ll reengage. And then I started seeing in the midst of this crisis, people coming out, people taking to the streets, these opportunities for engagement. And in my American politics class, I’m very eager to learn from them. What’s happening on the ground, for example, no doubt, there’s going to be some students in my class from Portland. What’s happening on the ground in Portland? I can read about it, but you’re my eyes and ears there. I’m anxious to meet my students and I’m anxious to get engaged, get involved.