With Love: Attempting to Instill the Lasting Value of Humanity While Teaching During a Global Pandemic


  • Scott Glew University of Minnesota
  • Ryan Oto University of Minnesota
  • J.B. Mayo University of Minnesota


social studies, pandemic, pedagogy, teacher education


Given the onslaught of COVID-19, the University of Minnesota suspended in-person instruction, forcing instructors to engage multiple forms of distance learning. This essay describes how two graduate instructors in social studies teacher education shifted their pedagogical focus from one course’s content to the ways in which their students would experience their online instruction. The instructors’ overarching goal was to model for their pre-service teachers what they hoped would be the pedagogical imperatives in those pre-service teachers’ future classrooms: the centering of humanity, the ability to balance grace with high expectations, and the willingness to reflect and learn on their own.

Author Biographies

Scott Glew, University of Minnesota

Scott Glew is a PhD student in social studies education at the University of Minnesota. His teaching/research promotes thoughtful and critically engaged democratic citizens through social studies education. Specifically, he focuses on how critical pedagogy and peace education may impact his work during a time of perpetual war and militarism.

Ryan Oto, University of Minnesota

Ryan Oto is a PhD candidate in social studies education at the University of Minnesota. His research focuses on anti-oppressive pedagogies that center community knowledge(s) to repair the historically broken relationships between communities of color and schools. Ryan’s work also focuses on youth participatory action research (YPAR) in social studies. 

J.B. Mayo, University of Minnesota

J.B. Mayo is an Associate Professor of social studies education at the University of Minnesota. His work focuses on school(ing) experiences of LGBTQ+ students and teachers, especially their engagements with social studies curriculum. Mayo’s work also explores the impact of Genders and Sexuality Alliances (GSA) on school environments.