Guest Post by Fabiola Zamora: “The Silver Lining”

Please enjoy this profound essay on happiness by my former student, Fabiola Zamora. This essay inspired and helped me, and I hope you will have the same experience.   I wholeheartedly believe that happiness is a choice, despite the body, the family, or the external circumstances 

Teachers, You Are Enough

For years — decades, really — I’ve been wondering why teaching makes me feel exhausted and utterly depleted, even on a good day. I’ve been wondering why I feel that with every year, I’m becoming more anxious and depressed doing this work, even though I am much better at 

A Teacher’s Spiritual Crisis

The paradox of my life as a teacher is that I feel this work is killing me, yet I also love this work obsessively, with a kind of madness. I dream about teaching, and in my dreams I am sometimes a better teacher than I 

Guest Post by Sarah Vegas: What Happens When Rewards Become Punishing?

Readers, please enjoy this thought-provoking essay written by my student, Sarah Vegas. Her words inspire me to do better for our students. –Jennifer Hurley Rewards and punishments have become tenets of modern American education. Teachers and educators rely on them for many reasons; to encourage, 

What We Lose When We Move Education Online

I just finished my fourth online class in a graduate TESOL program, and I’m left feeling empty. It was clear that the courses were constructed with professionalism and that the instructors cared about their students’ learning. Even so, the experience felt artificial to me. It’s 

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.