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Author Topic: How "Trigger Warnings" are Hurting Mental Health on Campus  (Read 3938 times)

Sophia C

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How "Trigger Warnings" are Hurting Mental Health on Campus
« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2015, 03:17:00 am »
Quote from: carillion;178848
This topic has all gone one way but it's important to remember that the person teaching is facing a very large task. Expecting that person to not only meet, but to anticipate every emotional eventuality in each student is, quite frankly, not possible. Again, not for me. To each person, their problem is the biggest problem (which it is) but now multiply that by 2-300. I don't know anyone who could, or would even try , to meet that need. Also, not everyone's 'needs' have to do with some personal trauma or sadness they have. That is something I also have to be aware of. It can be daunting.

You keep ignoring the fact that a lot of the people responding to you are experienced teachers. OK, I've been teaching for 12 years, not 30. But I've done some of the adjunct hell that Jenett talks about. Two years ago I was lecturing on two courses and leading seminars on two more, plus doing my PhD. I had quite a workload (and I'm disabled myself). Somehow I still found the time for the very brief consideration of how my session on domestic violence might have affected some students and to add a warning in the previous lecture (and in the course guide). It took less than a minute. I had that time.

You didn't reply to my comment about Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Do you honestly believe that students who are simply asked to toughen up will be able to learn effectively?

But it would be hubris to claim one could handle and again, anticipate, what every or even most 'needs' will be. There is nothing unique  or rare  (sadly)about rape or abuse. To pretend we must shield people from the facts is both disingenuous and ultimately, to learning and social action, defeating.

There are still straw people here. No one is saying you have to anticipate every problem. People are just suggesting trigger warnings, or content advice, or whatever you want to call it, before teaching on *particularly distressing topics*. You keep saying that people are asking you to warn about a sad moment in a worksheet. They're not. Again, they're simply suggesting that *generally very distressing* topics might want to be signalled.

Next term I'm teaching seminars (discussion group support for the main lectures) on politics and religion. Everything from ISIS to Israel and Palestine will come up. This thread has reminded me to check what's on the course guide (which someone else has written) and be ready to flag up issues in the previous session. I'll also be preparing notes  in advance so that dyslexic students can participate, checking the access to the seminar room (so that disabled students, and I, can get into the session) and making sure to read all key points in support materials aloud in case of visual impairment or English-as-second-language difficulties. I do all this routinely, not least because I'm a Disability Equality Trainer and modelling good practice is important to me. And surprisingly, it never takes very long.

Inclusion is important and we should bloody well do it rather than complaining about how hard it is for us, the only people in the room who are being paid to be there.
"We're all stories, in the end. Make it a good one, eh?"
- Doctor Who


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