It’s Okay to Network Without Drinking… Getting Students to Do the Reading… How Instructors Can Help Student Well-Being

It’s Okay to Network Without Drinking

People don’t consume alcohol for a host of reasons—medication interactions, mental health, or other disabilities—and non-drinkers may not want to share those reasons in professional settings. Nevertheless, many networking opportunities center around drinking, with comments such as Come on, just one often a recurring chorus.

Consequently, those who avoid consuming alcohol should prepare comebacks to questions or comments about their status. If asked to take a drink, the abstinent networker should be able to leave it at an even-toned Thanks, I’m good. The more specific response, I don’t drink, begs a follow-up Why? In this case, the best response is to remain poised, avoid sounding defensive, and move onto another topic.

Moss, H. (2021, July 8.) How I navigate networking events as a person who doesn’t drink. Fast Company. Retrieved from https//

Getting Students to Do the Reading

Do your students ignore assigned readings? If so, try one or several of the strategies below to encourage compliance.

Grade. Assign evaluative summaries of readings or give reading quizzes. The more weight awarded to reading goes toward final grades, the more likely students are to do it.

Don’t summarize. Avoid doing the work for students by covering the reading in depth during class.

Integrate readings into class sessions. Discuss and encourage questions about readings or put students into groups to discuss main takeaways with prepared prompts.

Assign less. Undergraduates respond best to a “less is more” approach.

Suarez, F. (2021, July 12.) 5 weeks to a better semester: Who’s done the reading? Chronicle of Higher Education Newsletter.

How Instructors Can Help Student Well-Being

Isolation, loneliness, and anxiety mark many students’ experience of higher education since the pandemic. Without taking on the role of therapist, instructors can help their charges by heeding a few tips.

  1. Don’t overwhelm students. Many students already feel they have lost out on learning opportunities and are playing catch-up, so make review a part of teaching practices. Use empathy when communicating during class and in online communications to help students feel supported.
  2. Focus on the process of learning. Students may not understand that struggling is part of learning. Remind them about the process of acquiring knowledge and provide opportunities for them to take multiple stabs at assigned work.
  3. Offer a “big picture” of curriculum. Throughout the term, make connections between the course content and what students can take away from learning activities.

Imad, M. (2021, July 8.) Pedagogy of healing: Bearing witness to trauma and resilience. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from



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