Student, Faculty, and Staff Partner Reflections

To better understand their own partnership and help others in partnerships, student/faculty partners often write reflective essays about their experiences.

Since 2010, the journal Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education (TLTHE) has served as a forum for the reflective work of college faculty and students working together to explore and enact effective classroom practice. Published three times per year, the journal is premised on the centrality to successful pedagogy of dialogue and collaboration among faculty and students in explorations and revisions of approaches to teaching and learning in higher education.

Here, we will highlight some foundational reflective essays written by Bryn Mawr/Haverford student and faculty partners. If you are interested in further exploring reflections by partners worldwide, please visit the annotated list of all issues of the journal Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education.

Partnering to Build Responsive Learning Communities that Support Students in Crisis by Kate Weiler and Adam Williamson (2020)

In this essay, Kate and Adam discuss how their partnership adapted to work on building responsive learning communities for students in the crisis of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics of reflection include reckoning with white supremacy as a broader context for pedagogical partnership; the importance of cross-disciplinary collaboration and trust in a partnership; how daily interactions mask weaknesses in inclusivity; and the roles for partnership in sustaining trauma-informed learning spaces moving forward.

How I Learned to Embrace the Awkward Silences to Promote Class Participation by Maya Gorstein and Benajmin Le (2019)

In observation of Benjamin’s psychology course, student partner Maya noticed that only a handful of white, mostly male students had been engaging with Benjamin. Working together, they discovered the power of silence in giving all students the time to reflect on the material and engage with their professor and classmates.

Building Relationships, Navigating Discomfort and Uncertainty, and Translating My Voice in New Contexts by Sasha Mathrani (2018)

Sasha reflects on the transformative impact of partnership on her time as an undergraduate at Haverford College, which led her to value herself, her perspective, and her contributions. She discusses how relationship-building and navigating discomfort and uncertainty have been instrumental in her seeing her self-worth. She explores how the confidence she gained from her partnership work has influenced her other endeavors.

Building a Sense of Belonging through Pedagogical Partnership by Ana Colón García (2017)

Ana explores the idea of belonging in the classroom and in her partnerships. Ana developed a collaborative relationship with her faculty partners that helped her rethink her rapport with her own professors and her role as a student in their classrooms.

Striving Toward a Space for Equity and Inclusion in Physics Classrooms by Kerstin Perez (2016)

Kerstin Perez, Assistant Professor of Physics at Haverford College, reflects on how her partnership created a “brave space” where she could recenter her values as an educator and cross the boundary of what is traditionally discussed in STEM classes. Students responded bravely, too, and the pair noticed an increase in student engagement, confidence, and satisfaction.

Silence in the Classroom by Anonymous (2014)

An anonymous philosophy professor at Bryn Mawr College discusses how their disagreement with their student partner over the role of silence in the classroom affirmed their commitment to dedicating classroom space to silent reflection.