Author: Jennifer Hurley

The Online Universe Is Killing Our Students

AS A LONGTIME community college teacher, I have hosted a lot of end-of-the-semester parties that you probably wouldn’t want to attend. There was the party with nothing but a jug of orange soda, four bags of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, and no napkins. At another gathering, 

Guest Post by Basil Rana: The Truth Behind Perfect Freedom

This lovely essay was written last semester by my student, Basil Rana. Basil is taking a huge course load right now, and I know he is struggling to manage all of his responsibilities. If you have any words of encouragement for him, please share!—Professor Jennifer 

A Set of Values for Education

So much of what we call education is small minded. Even something seemingly large, such as a student learning outcome, reduces a layered, individual human experience to a standardized bullet point. Rarely in education do we speak of big, unanswerable questions; rarely do we speak 

Advice on Happiness From My Students

Last semester, my first-year college students did a deep dive into the topic of happiness, reading, talking, and writing about ways we can be happier. Below are excerpts from their writing. I feel such admiration for their thoughtfulness, compassion, and wisdom—Professor Jennifer Hurley Some people 

Why Other Teachers Make Me Feel So Lonely

It’s the night before the department meeting, and I can’t sleep. Something about being in a space with other teachers makes me deeply uncomfortable, a feeling I am ashamed to admit. In my fantasy life, I am a team player, well liked, maybe even admired. 

Why We Must Work Less in School

The sociology professor was on Zoom presenting research about how students felt taking classes during COVID. The results of the research: Students were depressed, anxious, and totally overwhelmed by their workloads. One professor raised his tiny Zoom hand. “I don’t get it,” he said. “I 

Guest Post by Bilkalpa Chakraborty: A Student’s View on Oppression in Education

I am honored to present this wise essay written by my student, Bilkalpa Chakraborty. She writes that “Humans are known for their brains. When the education system does not respect the human brain, it is dehumanizing the students.” Read her full essay below.—Jennifer Hurley The 

To the Teacher Who Said Half of Her Class Didn’t “Belong” There

I have probably said this too, at one time, though now I am ashamed to admit it. The educational system conditions us to think that students must keep pace—and that as good teachers, it is our role to must ensure that they keep pace. But 

Is School Anti-Learning?

More and more, I am coming to believe that school is a place that is, sadly, antithetical to learning. It is a place where students pretend to learn in exchange for a grade that certifies that they “learned,” and are thus qualified to move on 

Guest Post by Jieye Fang: The Banking Model of Education and Grades Are Damaging Critical Thinking

Dear Readers, Please enjoy this insightful article written by my stellar student, Jieye Fang. Most of us are probably very familiar with the words “critical thinking.” We hear about it all the time, both in schools and outside of schools. Since people are constantly talking