Like many of you, my semester started this week. After taking a semester off for conference planning, it was great to be back in the classroom. This fall, I am teaching a Media Literacy elective for journalism majors at Brooklyn College. I love the first day of classes. I like watching the students try to figure out what type of teacher I will be, and I love trying to get a sense of what type of community we will build together over the course of the next few months.
I always ask my students the same question to facilitate introductons.
"What is one example of media content they have watched, read, or listened to recently that has inspired them?"
I find that this question allows them to talk about something they like without urging them to be too personal. It also sets the tone for open conversation. Without fail, there is debate. This week's came when one student talked about his passion for
and his claim that it was indeed the greatest show ever made. Well,
fans in the room had some things to say about that! This question sets the tone for a class where media can be both criticized and celebrated, where I am going to listen to them and ask for their thoughts, and where disagreements are explored and analyzed.