I love my students

by Corey Robin on April 9, 2016

We talk a lot on this blog about pedagogy and other issues related to classroom instruction in the academy. I don’t often participate in those discussions, though I read them avidly, with great interest and appreciation. I suppose it’s because the issues raised there sometimes seem a bit removed from what I encounter at CUNY.  But I posted this post last night on my blog, and spurred on by an appreciative tweet from Henry, I thought I’d share it here. Teaching’s not always like this at CUNY, but it often is. I remember my first semester at Brooklyn College, teaching a nighttime seminar on liberalism and constitutional law. I’ll never forget, about an hour after the class had ended, I walked by the classroom on my way home and there were three students—one from Nigeria, one from Eastern Europe, and one who was African American—still arguing over some passage from On Liberty. It sounds like something out of a movie, and the truth is, it often feels that way. More than 15 years later, I still sometimes fantasize that I’m teaching the next generation of the New York Intellectuals. Only instead of them being the children of East European Jews, they’re from the Caribbean, West Africa, Palestine, Yemen, Turkmenistan. They’re black, they’re Latina, they’re Muslim, they’re working class, they’re Orthodox Jewish, and they come from everywhere.

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I’m not one of those professors who says, “I love my students,” but…I love my students. [click to continue…]