Episode 10: The First Day of Class

Guests: Professor Ralph Grunewald, Professor Brittney Edmonds, & Dr. Melissa Lindsey

In this episode, we get ready for the first day of class with three L&S instructors: Ralph Grunewald, Associate Professor in the Department of English and the Center for Law, Society, and Justice; Brittney Edmonds, Assistant Professor in the Department of African American Studies; and Melissa Lindsey, Teaching Faculty and Director of Instructional Support in the Department of Mathematics. These instructors share how they prepare for the first day of classes with an eye toward creating an inclusive classroom atmosphere and transparent course expectations. We hear clips from inside the classroom and reflect on how teaching and learning has been impacted by the pandemic.

See the transcript for this episode.

The L&S Exchange Podcast is brought to you by L&S Teaching & Learning Administration and produced by the Instructional Design Collaborative. This podcast is recorded on ancestral Ho-Chunk land, a place their nation has called Teejop (day-JOPE) since time immemorial.

Join the Conversation

How did this episode make you think? What’s on your mind about inclusive teaching? Leave us a message on Spotify for Podcasters, respond to a poll using the Spotify app on your mobile device, reply with a comment at the bottom of this post, or send us an email. We may ask to feature your contribution in this or a future episode.

Conversation Starters

  1. What information about yourself and your classroom will you share in your introduction to students this semester? Why are these things important to you to share?
  2. What academic, social, or cultural expectations, norms, behaviors, or values are unspoken in your course? How might you reveal this “hidden curriculum” to your students?
  3. What is the purpose of your classroom? How might you include all students in setting the tone and understanding those goals on the first day of class?
  4. What impacts from the pandemic have you felt as an instructor? How have you, your colleagues, and your students responded?
  5. Engaging in productive struggle can help students invest more in their learning process. What elements of productive struggle might you incorporate into your course? When is it more beneficial to provide solutions to students yourself?

Further Reading & Resources

In this episode we mentioned, were inspired by, or wondered about the following resources and topics.

  • The Hidden Curriculum consists of academic, social, and cultural expectations, norms, and behaviors that may be known to you as an instructor, but not to all of your students.
  • Looking for activities that can communicate your inclusive intentions while helping you and your students connect? The Instructional Design Collaborative has created Example Activities for the First Week for co-creating classroom expectations, exploring personal goals, and reviewing the syllabus in engaging ways.
  • “The First Day of Class” kicks off the second season of the L&S Exchange Podcast. We saw many connections with our first season, including the following:
    • Lori Lopez discusses how an instructor’s introduction to students might be influenced by their identities in Episode 4.
    • Christy Clark-Pujara shares tips for setting up classroom expectations around language use and discussions in Episode 6.
    • John Zumbrunnen considers the purpose of the college classroom in Episode 7.
  • Register for CTLM’s Ready, Set, Teach event on August 30, and check out other campus events to help you prepare for the first day of class.

Production Credits

Producer: David Macasaet
Associate Producer: Molly Harris
Audio Engineer: David Macasaet
Audio Editor: David Macasaet
WiscWeb Administrator: Laura Schmidli
Post-Production & Studio Support: Erika Schock
Development Producer: Jonathan Klein
Planning Group: Jonathan Klein, David Macasaet, Molly Harris, Laura Schmidli, Erika Schock, Antonella Caloro
Social Media Support: L&S Strategic Communications
Executive Sponsorship: Shirin Malekpour

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