With Anxious Students, Try a Little Tenderness
Adieu, Professor Tough Guy. The collective anxiety facing today’s college students requires the kid glove approach.
To show students that their instructors want to help them learn, many professors find themselves acknowledging that caring about students is essential to engaging them. Such “caring pedagogy” has a long history, actually dating back to the 1930s and 1940s, and employs compassion and empathy. Whether the instructor is teaching online or in person, caring pedagogy combines student-centered learning with a responsive faculty member. In such an atmosphere, both student and professor listen to one another carefully and empathize with, trust, and respect one another.
Because this caring approach to shepherding students through the curriculum takes time, professors have to make a conscious decision to adopt the strategy.
Source: Ubell, R. (2022, July 8.) With stressed-out students in challenging times, faculty must embrace caring practices. Edsurge. https://www.edsurge.com
It’s Okay to Fail (If You Learn from It)
You’ve planned. You’ve prepped. You’ve created thoughtful materials. But something isn’t clicking.
Every instructor experiences sessions—or entire classes—that just don’t gel. When this happens, the best strategy is to go to the source and ask students what has gone wrong. At least that’s what the authors of The New College Classroom (Harvard University Press) suggest in their recent book, citing a wealth of evidence-based strategies for learning from a negative situation.
The authors advise asking students to respond to a prompt such as “Everyone acted like a zombie in class today because…” or “If I had designed today’s class, I would have…” at the end of a class session that fell flat. Alternately, instructors can begin the next class by asking students to write about what would help improve the class moving forward. Of course, the responses must be anonymous.
Most important, however, is to remember that instructors should aim for success most of the time instead all of the time.
Source: Supiano, B. (2022, Sept. 1.) Learning from ‘teaching fails’. The Chronicle. https://www.chronicle.com/newsletter
Has the Workplace Become Ruder?
Less handshaking. More cursing. Epic waits for responses to e-mails and texts. What’s going on in the workplace?
Employees leave their positions without giving much notice or show up to important meetings underdressed. Recruiters fail to send rejection letters, leaving job candidates not knowing where they stand. Employers complain about a lack of cover letters, but applicants say that AI weeding software doesn’t read them. Clients may show initial interest in a product or service only to “ghost” the vendor with no explanation.
Written communication is another convention that has witnessed degradation. Good grammar and careful editing are too infrequent, with misspellings, typos, a lack of punctuation, and sloppy syntax bad enough to derail careers.
Source: Borchers, C. (2022, Sept.8.) What the #@$%! happened to our manners at work? The Wall Street Journal. https:www.wsj.com