In this narrative essay, I use my experiences as a communication educator to theorize the roles of desire and passion within the classroom. Extra-classroom encounters with several students inspire questions I feel are fundamental to the vocation of an educator in general, and a communication educator specifically. I argue for a shift in pedagogical practice from resisting desire and passion as feelings potentially destructive, to embracing such emotions as affirming, creative, and relationship-building pedagogical influences. I aim to illuminate the tensions and contradictions young and/or beginning communication instructors sometimes face when questions of personal and professional boundaries arise. I offer a pedagogy of the erotic as a pedagogical orientation that is fitting for the introductory hybrid course, as it promotes (1) the affirmation of personhood; (2) the cultivation of creative capacities; and (3) the nurturance of relationships. These implications of a pedagogy of the erotic may be useful both within introductory communication course classrooms, as well as within orientation programs that train introductory course educators.



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