is wealth that can't be stolen."
most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words
when one will do."
We owe it to our students, as part of their education, to help them learn how to succeed. How can we do this?
It is easy to suggest that one starts by being learner centered. But what does that really mean? It doesn't mean being everything to your students (you'll read more about that in the section on boundaries in module 20). It does mean that caring counts. Faculty who care about their students, and are learner-centered know that subject area expertise alone is insufficient for community college faculty. We need to be equipped to help our students understand how to learn our subject matter and how to relate that subject to their overall education and career plans. In addition, as you learned in module 15, we need to know how to help our students learn while supporting and enhancing their self-worth and self-confidence about learning. We can offer great help to students by giving them insight into how they can make it in the world using the content of your courses.
As you read this module, think about the types of questions students are likely to ask about your subject and related career options. The actual question is not key, it is an understanding of the underlying question. For example, if a student asks why a particular assignment has been made, it's important to think about whether they are challenging the relevance of the assignment or if they are exploring whether or not you are open to assignments that don't require them to write. If the latter is the case, they may be challenged by written assignments, and their real question may be "How can I avoid this threatening assignment that makes me feel stupid." Look deeply into students' questions and be prepared to offer them the answers and help they are really seeking.
You might be thinking, "I don't have time to do this." Right, you can't help or save them all. On the other hand, you can support the learning of many students by equipping yourself with basic tools. By thinking systemically and being prepared with handouts, web sites or confident, short, supportive explanations, you can be one of those faculty members students remember when they think of people who supported their learning and made a difference.
- by Kristina Kauffman and Andy Howard