I was quite impressed by the stories, the students really did seem to reflect on their experience and honestly share their thoughts. As faculty many times we are being pulled in so many directions , so many commitments that we don’t prioritize as we should.
Reading reflections or better yet taking the time to talk to our students once in a while can help us stay grounded.
I was hired for my expertise but am I (or my students) suffering from my “expert brain?” That’s what I thought about as I reflected upon “Our Stories” during our first Student Ready College Committee meeting for the semester.
My expertise represents my mastery of a particular subject. I once thought that was all that students needed from me; to know the subject matter and know it well! Apparently that’s not all that they need. Am I so engulfed in my “expert brain” that I’m missing all the contextual factors of a college experience? These same factors that can, and often do, interfere with what we do in the classroom.
I participated in my first SRC meeting last week and had the opportunity to learn a bit more about the new student experience by reading through a number of Our Stories. I shared them with a colleague and we spoke about the importance of tying the college experience to career interests/exploration as early as possible. We also spoke about the need to reinforce this link throughout their education at City Tech (both inside and outside of the classroom), especially as interests may change over time.
I thought that this article from my alma mater, UCONN, featured an interesting initiative that would be useful to all our students, but particularly freshman students. It is about a mailbox with a journal that students can write anonymously about their experiences and people can reply. It was started by the counseling department and now has begun a campus tradition that students find very helpful. See article at:
A Little Push
Hope you enjoy the article. Best, T. Goetz