Embracing Unpredictable Moments
What excites me about teaching is the opportunity to discuss and learn about the pressing issues that confront us all with curious students who will be changemakers in years to come, in various and different ways. There are unpredictable moments of magic that happen in class – regardless of how you prepare and what material you assign and those are the moments that make teaching so much fun.
Substantively, I like to teach about international security – and challenge students' conceptions about what security means to them. I also like to teach international relations theory because this helps students see that their intuitive takes on many issues and situations are actually formed by some sense of how the world hangs together. Once they see that there are fundamentally different ways to approach international relations, they can then interrogate and analyze their own takes more systematically.
At DePauw, there is a high degree of student participation and students have agency in their own education. It is a genuine give and take, a genuine conversation and a genuinely interdisciplinary approach to the pressing questions of the day.
In my classroom, I encourage a lot of dialogue and mutual questioning. I hope that students feel comfortable pushing conversations and their research in directions that excite them.