Teacher of the Ear

01-02-2022 • 32 mins

In October 2021, the University of Michigan hosted a panel discussing Critical Digital Pedagogy. Moderated by Jesse Stommel, the panelists included Sean Michael Morris, Ruha Benjamin, and Martha Fay Burtis. In that discussion, Martha made a comment about wanting to say she loves her students, but that she’s not always comfortable using that specific term. In this episode of Teacher of the Ear, she discusses her concerns and shares her thoughts about loving students. She frames her thinking in the context of a pedagogy of care, turning the traditional authority- and expertise-focused education model on its head. Martha views loving students as a situation that involves giving students freedom and flexibility while changing the nature of the work done in our classes. She explains how we need to change classroom work and not simply offload it onto students. That change, then, also entails setting limits for ourselves to avoid burnout. Care for ourselves and caring for students is all connected because at the heart of it, isn’t teaching really a labor of love?

Our theme music is by Blue Dot Sessions. This episode’s cover art is by Nick Fewings on Unsplash. The show is hosted on, and you can subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. The full catalogue of episodes, including show notes and complete transcripts, lives at This episode has a complete transcript available.