Nov. 4, 2020 @ 5:24 p.m.
Dear CU Denver Faculty,
I imagine that you are finding that this semester has been markedly different from any previous one due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a presidential election, and protests against racism and police violence. As faculty members, you may find that students in your classes are struggling with some of these issues, raising questions, or wanting to have discussions in your classroom. I recognize that this can be difficult work that you are asked to do and appreciate any efforts to guide our students through these challenging times.
To support you in the classroom, the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CETL) has compiled a variety of resources that may help your approach to teaching in the current environment. The CETL website Teaching in Tumultuous Times provides links to resources for trauma-informed teaching that may help you to manage “high-stakes” discussions, defuse “hot moments” in the classroom, and manage any classroom questions about current societal issues and concerns. You may also find the CETL Tip Sheet “Your Classroom After the 2020 National Election” useful. This short guide provides quick and easy advice on First Amendment rights in the classroom, modeling non-partisanship through the tools of diplomacy, structuring civil discourse, and maintaining an open learning environment. As always, CETL faculty fellows are available to meet with you for a confidential, individual consultation concerning any teaching issue. You can register for a teaching consultation here.
Thank you again for your support of and commitment to our students and your focus on their academic efforts.
Roderick Nairn, PhD
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs