My name is Tim Jones. I teach Political Science at Bellevue College. I have a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Washington and I have been teaching full-time at Bellevue College since 2010. In spring 2017, I was selected as the Faculty Commons Tenure Track Mentoring Lead.
In my classes, I try to foster a deep-seeded commitment to social justice and civic engagement. No matter how many times I teach a subject or how much I think I know about it, I always try to approach my next class as if I were teaching it for the first time. If I want my students to be excited and open-minded about a subject then I believe I need to model that attitude and behavior myself. In Buddhist terms, I try to adopt a “beginner’s mind” rather than an “expert’s mind.” An illustrative quote in this respect, which I like to share with my students is “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” What this means for me in practice is that I try not to introduce any topic that I am not truly interested in myself; I regularly try out new teaching techniques; I often reinvent assignments, and I am up-front about the fact that I do not have all the answers. It also means that I encourage my students to question convention and authority, including my own, and to consider alternative ways of thinking and relating to the world. In the process, I try to have as much fun as possible as I believe that what we learn with pleasure we are less likely to forget. In the end, I hope my students leave my classes more curious, more critical, more self-aware, and more self-confident than they were when they entered.