Teaching me: The vulnerability in teaching my home

In the fall of 2013, Presenter #1 was asked to teach a new course in his department’s curriculum entitled Cultural Rhetorics. Being Appalachian and a scholar of Appalachia, he designed a course around the discourse of the region. In doing so, he quickly recognized the vulnerability of teaching a misunderstood region to students who had no ties, or believed they had no connections, to Appalachia. In this presentation, Presenter #1 discusses what he has learned from and about his students through the course and how teaching his home region has helped him better relate to other misunderstood and misrepresented regions and people throughout the world. He will present how, as Freire put it, he has better understood how “education must begin with the solution of the teacher-student contradiction, by reconciling the poles of the contradiction so that both are simultaneously teachers and students” (2005, p. 72).