April 4 Days 26-27: I Believe in Academic Freedom

I hear a lot of certainty about the “right way” to approach online teaching in this crisis. That makes me nervous. Opinions are being presented as fact. What if I chose to do something differently—either because it works well for my style or I see it fills a need for my students?  Will I be judged poorly because I was not following recommended guidelines? Personally, I believe I’m doing a bang-up job of bringing students together for collaboration while still allowing for asynchronous participation. Yet as I read articles, blogposts, and FB groups, I start to worry that I am doing it all wrong. It’s  crazy-making. I will try to reign in my self-doubt, do a reasonable job for the students, trust my instincts, and continue to believe in academic freedom.

On a more positive note today (Saturday) was my first day out and about in a very long time. The silver car, which hadn’t been moved in more than two weeks, started on the first try—but I did have to put air in its right rear tire.  I shopped early to replenish food stocks and acquired gas for the car and lawn mowers. I scored toilet paper, eggs, milk, various proteins, vegetables, and even pancake mix. I felt like I hit the jackpot. No flour though. Some yard work, some 3D printing, and some chats with neighbors in the sunshine made for a nice change. Today was really the first time in four weeks that I took time away from work. No wonder I’m tired.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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