Professor jennifer hurley

My Teaching Ideals

This is an evolving document.

I strive for my teaching to:

  • make each of my students feel heard and cared for
  • motivate my students to feel excited about learning and to experience the power of reading and writing
  • help my students to learn about the world, encounter new ideas and people, and begin the process of knowing themselves
  • be guided by the belief that "education is the practice of freedom," and thus uphold my students' autonomy and choices 
  • ask my students to be really thinking and questioning rather than obeying rules or following formulas
  • be hands-on and relevant, emphasizing practice and conversation over theory
  • prioritize process over product, and in doing so, welcome my students to make fruitful mistakes
  • build community and trust between me and my students and between students and each other
  • cultivate an energetically balanced classroom, where there is space for quiet reflection as well as laughter and fun
  • create opportunities for students' self reflection and self feedback
  • offer my own feedback with a spirit of encouragement and helpfulness, making sure not to overwhelm students with too much feedback
  • avoid busy work, competition, excessive rules, threats, scolding, and grading---basically, anything that can make the educational sphere seem hostile or small
  • confront problems head on, with a spirit of honesty and compassion
  • maintain sensible boundaries, so I can feel rested enough to be fully present with my students at all times during class and in one-on-one meetings
  • keep me motivated and curious, so that I can inspire my students and continue to grow in this work