How a Pandemic can Inform our Syllabi

As I write, the Delta variant is still spreading and health protocols are in flux. But there are several things we have learned from the pandemic with regard to teaching. Prior to the pandemic, I was little aware of the trauma our students and colleagues experience. This has made me rethink how I approach and interact with both.

The Azusa Pacific University has developed a useful resource page explaining how to use trauma informed pedagogy (TIP) in our classrooms. Specifically, they have a nice bulleted list of TIP practices for your syllabus. Here are a few that stood out to me:

Increase limits to accepting late work to provide flexibility for those who may need it, using restorative practices rather than zero tolerance practices.
Facilitate peer activities that help students connect with classmates to provide mutual support
Consider student accountability handled in a way that conveys “What’s happened to the student?” versus “What’s wrong with the student?”
A complete list with links to many additional resources can be found here.