During my graduate education at Indiana University, Bloomington I have been able to teach for a number of undergraduate introductory courses in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology. These include F101, Introduction to Folklore; F121, World Arts and Cultures; F131, Folklore in the United States; F252, Urban Legends; and F256, The Supernatural and Folklore.
My role in these courses was as an Associate Instructor. In this capacity, I attended the regular large lecture (ranging from 150-225 students) twice a week as well as conducting my own classes once a week for three sections consisting of 25 students each. I have also given my own lectures prepared for the class as a whole once a semester. Other duties for these courses ranged from preparing and administering my own quizzes to my sections, grading all course material, holding weekly office hours, and crafting my own section syllabus, the policies of which were in coordination with the instructor of record’s policies as well as University policies. My weekly discussion section classes elaborated on required reading and lecture material as well as introduced material that helped clarify other conversations taking place in the course as a whole.
For my work on these courses, I was awarded the 2018 Henry Glassie Excellence in Teaching Award from the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology faculty.
I was also fortunate enough to work with Indiana University’s Lifelong Learning program in order to create five unique courses of my own design: The Unquiet Dead: Folklore, the Supernatural, and Death; Folklore and Disaster; Vampires in Folklore and Culture: Social Aspects of the Monstrous; The Art of Conflict in Northern Ireland; and Haunted Indiana University. These were shorter courses than the regular semester-long 16-week courses, as they lasted 3-4 weeks each with one weekly meeting of an hour and a half. While there were no assessment of course material such as exams or readings, it was clear from the discussions and participation that the students, who were often retired members of the Bloomington community, were engaged with the material that I presented.
After my course on folklore and disaster concluded I heard back from a staff member at IU’s Lifelong Learning program who wrote, “Jesse, I had a chance to look through your course evaluations today and every single person picked excellent for every category! The only complaint was that the class wasn’t long enough! I think our office assistant will send you a summary at some point, but I wanted to let you know. We’re lucky we found you and you’ll have to let me know when you’re ready to teach again.”