Although I enjoyed all of this week’s readings, I believe that “A Pedagogy of Kindness”, by Catherine Denial, was my favorite. I really appreciated how she reevaluated her original approach, and later instituted a policy of kindness and understanding in every facet of her position. She states that, after a conference, she chose “kindness as [her] pedagogical practice” and that it turned her and her students’ experiences around completely. She embraces the concept of believing people, and believing in people – especially her students. Denial has learned that learned that she would rather take the risk that a student could perhaps be dishonest than make life more difficult for the students struggling with grief and illness, or even an over-packed schedule or faulty electronics – something I believe that all teachers could learn from. It was incredibly powerful to me to see that someone could, and was willing to, completely change their perspective on their profession and approach to that profession. Catherine Denial, in my opinion, is rare. Many people become stuck in their ways, and I have to commend her for making such a valuable change.
Most people are inherently good, and will often make the right decision when it matters. She believes this, as well as in the personhood of each of her students and their ability.