Inside Higher Ed
Bodies Online | University of Venus
The hardest part about teaching effectively online is that my butt is stuck in a chair all day. Yeah, I know: set reminders to stand up, raise my computer screen to eye level, learn yoga, etc. I do all that, but ever since the March 2020 emergency pivot to remote instruction, my shoulders have been rapidly rounding into permanent parentheses. My mind’s online but IRL my body is trapped in a chair with no lumbar support. My virtual classroom is taking a serious toll on my corporal form. Moreover, although I won’t be physically present with students next semester, they’re bringing the same stereotypical assumptions about what a college professor “looks like” into my online classroom as they do face-to-face. Today, when higher education is talking more seriously about effective online teaching and learning than ever before, and grappling with how to teach during a pandemic, we can’t lose sight of the reality that instructors’ corporal form — our embodied identity — always matters.