More and More Every Day – Jessamyn Neuhaus, 7/16/20

Meet Dr. Jessamyn Neuhaus (@GeekyPedagogy), Professor of Popular Culture and History at State University of New York, Plattsburgh.

Dr. Jessamyn Neuhaus

Dr. Neuhaus is the recently named Interim Director of her campus’ Center for Teaching Excellence. She’s greeting the challenge head-on, learning for the first time how to teach online while also navigating the new realities of #TeachingintheCOVID19era.

Like many of us, Dr. Neuhaus believed she was able to change with any demands, accept certain realities, and in many ways roll with the punches, but she wasn’t expecting COVID19. For example, she spent weeks investing effort into developing meaningful discussions in a difficult class. In early March, that class finally reached a point where their conversations were doing great! That was the last time that class ever met.

Our conversation reflected Neuhaus’ understanding of emotional labor and the demands placed on teachers during times of crisis. “This moment,” she says, “calls on us to really interact” with students and people who may need our attention. Learning is an emotional process, and when we teach face to face, we have those conversations in the classroom. During the uncertain times of COVID19, those conversations have moved beyond the boundaries of work and home life.

When she finds herself worrying about the future, she thinks about the macro, “will my university exist?” to the micro, “how can I help students have effective conversations online?” When these concerns strike, however, her advice to students and teachers right now really resonates: Learning is difficult, but learning is what we love.

Hear Jessamyn’s interview wherever you get your podcasts.

Show notes: 

  • Pick up a copy of Dr. Neuhaus’ book, Geeky Pedagogy from West Virginia University Press. 
  • Take a look at an excellent article with Inside HigherEd about her new role in the Center for Teaching Excellence. 
  • Dr. Neuhaus and Summer geeked out on the importance of Oral History in capturing “what it was like” for ordinary people to experience this extraordinary event.
  • Catherine Denial and Flower Darby are both credited with Jessamyn’s favorite quote, “Good enough” during this crisis. 
  • Connect with Dr. Neuhaus on Twitter @GeekyPedagogy and on her website:

Interview Date: 5/11/20

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