As someone newly immersed in a university teaching environment after shedding my role as a graduate student, I was excited, yet unsure of how to approach designing my own course that could show my strengths but also cater to student learning outcomes. For so long, I had been focused on one project—my general focus was narrowed on that larger project, and I was having a hard time thinking outside of this box. Fortunately, my first post-graduate school teaching opportunity required me to teach a course on art and anthropology, which corresponded to my special interests and also to courses I had previously taken as a student. Armed with my previous syllabi and a syllabus from a new colleague at my university, I went to my computer and started cranking out a syllabus (download Erin’s art and anthropology syllabus). The time and labor components of putting together a syllabus when you are excited are extreme. As a green syllabus creator, I found myself wading deep into my Endnote library to find readings I hadn’t thought of in years, skimming those, and debating whether to add them to the reading list. There had to be a better way . . . right?
. . . as educators, we do not always have a community that provides support or resources to cut down on different forms of labor. This is where Teaching Tools comes in . . .
This series of posts is inspired by the constant struggle that comes with teaching students, while balancing research and other responsibilities. While many of us enjoy these sorts of creative challenges in instruction, this does not reduce the unseen labor of putting together a syllabus and assessments that we feel help us understand whether or not we are meeting our student learning outcomes. Also, as educators, we do not always have a community that provides support or resources to cut down on different forms of labor. This is where Teaching Tools comes in: we want to put together a syllabus archive to help ameliorate these demands of unseen labor for fellow anthropologists and anyone interested in gleaning resources to use for teaching different topics of interest. This syllabus archive is meant to be a resource for those who are working on designing a new class, updating a previously created class, or updating their course materials. Keep watch every couple of months for another post as we continue to build this archive, and please reach out if you want to contribute by helping to curate a section or particular topic in the archive. We look forward to building up these resources, and expanding our community support in teaching endeavors.