School navigation

Teaching Excellence Program

Bodies in the Classroom

Date: 11:30am - 12:30pm PDT October 22 Location: J.R. Howard Hall 302

J.R. Howard Hall 302

As academics primarily focused on pursuits of the mind, we tend to underestimate the role our body plays in our classrooms. Both we and our students experience the needs and ailments of the body as we engage in teaching and learning: fatigue, hunger, illness, disability. Furthermore, our bodies carry and communicate a complex set of attributes: gender, race, ethnicity, size, economic status (through clothing choices, for example), voice, style. We cannot escape our bodies, and the ways that they both affect us and reveal things about us to the world.

To get us started on thinking through these issues, Molly has written a new blog post, Some Thoughts on Bodies and Teaching. Stepan will speak to us about how the body plays a role in his artistic work and teaching in the Theatre department.

For further reading, you may also want to consult Heike Peckruhn’s Performing Bodies in the Classroom: Multiple Identities and (Mis)recognition, and Brianna Rae’s Lets Get Physical: Improving Learning Through Movement. There is also Sherine Aboelezz’s, Teaching with Chronic Illness.

Here are some questions to consider in advance of next Tuesday’s lunch: 

- Where have you experienced the impact of the body (your own or those of your students) in your classroom?

- What can be comfortable and uncomfortable about dealing with the body in the classroom?

- Does the body affect teachers and students differently? How so? 

- Do you have teaching techniques that draw on or cater to the body?

All TEP Pedagogy Lunches last about an hour and meet in the conference room in JR Howard Hall 302 (unless stated otherwise). Topics and suggested readings are posted 1-2 weeks before each meeting.  You are welcome to bring your own lunch. Coffee, tea, and cookies are provided.  

Although an RSVP is not required, a rough headcount would be helpful. If you plan to attend the TEP lunch, please RSVP below or email

Registration for this event is now closed.