Global warming changes everything, including my approach to the classroom. In my classes, I challenge students to embrace uncertainty about the planet’s future and communicate to others the just world that they want to live in. By helping students develop their critical thinking, reading, and writing skills, I ask them to examine how language and cultural practice reflects the social, political, and economic forces that are warming our planet. I also encourage students to embrace communicative practices that translate intellectual awareness into affective understanding. In all of my classes, I think with students as we investigate how global change outside the classroom impacts how we use language to make sense of the world in profound and personal ways.
Because the future will require a fundamentally different relationship between humans and their environments, I consider the classroom as a place where students learn to become more responsible citizens—and to anticipate and act upon this relationship for the better. I ask my students to reflect on their personal identities as critical thinkers, responsible writers, and global citizens. I also encourage students to recognize that even though we are all part of the same Anthropos, our experiences are uniquely shaped through race, class, gender, sexuality, and relationship to settler colonialism. Each of us must embrace this truth as we develop and communicate sustainable visions of the future that address the place- and identity-based injustices that shape contemporary society. Ultimately, my goal is for students to use critical reading, thinking, and writing skills to respond productively to uncertainty while also imagining a more sustainable and equitable vision of their future.