Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Different Kind of Teaching

Today was interesting - different than what I've experienced lately at work. I "canceled" class this morning, but not really since I was in the office available for assistance, giving the students class time to work on a big project due next week. I had a steady stream of students from 8:15-10:00, which is our normal class time. I had a break when their next class started where I graded a few papers and also did some sorority work, and then the steady stream again from 12:00-3:00 when I left to get my kids from school.

While a number came to talk to me about their work, it seemed today that more of the conversations ventured off into the personal realm, which I have to admit always amazes me when that happens. I don't know what it is about the cohort, but there is something about it that triggers growth in LOTS of areas, not just school. I heard today about family issues, boyfriends, worries, frustrations... a piece of me is conflicted about this, but also not. I love that these women trust me enough to share more about who they are and what is going on - I think it helps me be a better teacher/mentor for them. I do think it is important to build relationships with my students, and that means knowing more about who they are and what makes them tick. I left today with a sense that many got what they needed, based on the sheer number of sighs of relief I heard today, and I do hope that is the case. I don't really dispense advice, but I do share things that seem relevant if I feel it is appropriate. At the same time, I worry about the personal/professional line. How much do I really need to know? How much is too much to share with them? How much is too little?

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