As a class, we established some fundamental classroom agreements in order to allow us to engage in productive, healthy conversation with each other over the course of the semester, even as we discuss complex, difficult subjects.
Assume Good Intentions
- Actually be well-intentioned and think about what you're saying so that you can do so respectfully.
- If someone says something that seems wrong, hurtful, or offensive, recognize that we sometimes make mistakes. Raise your concerns, while beginning from the assumption that the other person made a mistake or is unaware of an issue -- it's a teaching moment, not an immediate cause for confrontation.
- Don't be afraid to disagree.
Oops and Ouch
It's okay to say "ouch" if someone says something that hurts or upsets you. It's okay to say "oops" someone makes a mistake. We forgive each other when we do.
- Be informed:
- Attend class.
- Come in having done the assigned reading and having thought about it.
- Be ready to talk about your ideas.
- Be mindful with your use of technology -- are your electronic devices helping you to engage or distracting you? Are they distracting others around you or helping to build productive community?
- Make your learning visible to yourself and others.
- When you speak, think about how your statement connects to things other people have said.
- Lean in and lean back. Try on different roles in the conversation in any given class period or any given week.
- Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.
- Don't talk over other people or across the conversation.
- Listen attentively and actively.