S3: E11: Teaching as a Nerdy Introvert w/ Jessamyn Neuhaus (Geeky Pedagogy)

Dr. Jessamyn Neuhaus is author of Geeky Pedagogy: A Guide for Intellectuals, Introverts, and Nerds Who Want to Be Effective Teachers, which releases on September 1st, 2019. Jessamyn is a full-time professor at SUNY Plattsburgh, teaching US history, pop culture history, history methodology, as well as “Superheroes in US Culture” and “The Apocalypse in USU Pop Culture.”

It’s only fitting that I recorded this episode with a D.C. Comics shirt, just after watching an episode of The Boys. Jessamyn and I speak about what introverted teachers bring to the classroom, how we can engage introverted students, the problems with the loud and “inspiring superteacher narrative”, and how embracing nerdom/being authentic is paramount to success.

As an introvert, I struggled in professional development, specifically motivational speakers, who made me believe that the best teachers had “Robin Williams” moments (which we discuss on this podcast!) Certainly, this isn’t to berate those who are loud, inspiring, and engaging - but us “nerdy folks” would not do well in a profession that requires that skill-set. I worry that many educators who choose this path and read certain teaching strategy books will come to believe that teaching isn’t for them - solely because of the false narrative of what “good teaching” can look like. Jessamyn and I dive into this and what we can do to change the narrative.

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