Deepening Awareness and Engagement
Sustained partnerships and regular reflection inspire in faculty, staff, and students a deeper awareness of and engagement in their own—and others’—education.
Through working with one another in such intensive partnerships, faculty and students deepen their engagement in their own practice. They also deepen their commitment to facilitating all student learning.
“[The student consultant] did a good job of reconnecting me to the students. She was a bridge back to me being an advocate for the students and serving them well. She reminded me of how much I care and made me refocus my attention on helping students as opposed to simply setting up challenges and obstacles that I expect them to meet. At the end of the year I evaluated myself, I really repositioned myself as their advocate because of this program.”
“My dialogue with my student consultant has been an ongoing intercambio [exchange] in which I was able to get a sense of how others experience the class. Because of this dialogue, rather than always privilege what worked for me as a student, I work to draw out how different pedagogical practices [and] learning styles can illuminate the space of a classroom for all those around the table.”
“I’m a lot more aware of the dynamics of learning now. I feel a major issue for me now as a student is thinking before I speak and being more considerate of others and their learning styles and expectations of the course and maybe in a way it makes me a bit more patient.”
“Now I am constantly aware of how pedagogy works or fails, and I find myself constantly studying the teachers I admire — perhaps more than I study the material they teach. I think this sense of elevated consciousness alone will shape my thinking far into the future; now that I have been so exposed to this level of awareness, I really don’t think it would be possible for me to enter a classroom WITHOUT thinking about the way class is being taught (as opposed to simply what is being taught).”
“It makes you much more aware of yourself, your presence in the class. You don’t think about yourself and the impact you’ll have just by what you say and how you say it. It’s easy to not say what you want to say for the fear of how it will be perceived. [But] just putting yourself out there might make the difference in the way the class goes and the way people think.”
“My partner from TLI, she was a housekeeper, and she works the night shift, and before this I didn’t actually know that people worked the night shift here cleaning. She cleans Canaday and Dalton, and because she works the night shift, I have to wake up kind of early to do our meetings, but because she is so enthusiastic about it, after working from midnight to 7:00 a.m., and she’s here to work on the computer, and she is all energized, and that gives me the motivation. I am like, if she can do this, all night long, work, and then still have the energy, it’s nothing [for me to get up early]. I taught her a little bit about computer literacy and it was supposed to be the Reading, Writing, Communication, but it turned into more of an ELP, because she learned that I was Haitian and that I don’t speak French, and she speaks Arabic and French, so then it turned more into an ELP, so while I was teaching her English she took it upon herself, and said, Well, if you’re teaching me this word in English I am going to teach you this word in French. And I hate French, I absolutely hate it, that’s what I took Spanish when I came here. And I was like, if you can teach me French and my own mom can’t teach me, that shows a lot about her character. And she showed me a lot about my character, too.”
“I think what working with ELP has done for me, and TLI, being partnered with a staff member, has raised this awareness of me as a student, I am not just walking through campus just as a student who is moving through on her way to Campus Center or Dalton, it’s so much broader.” - student
“Working with the Facilities Department, we got to looking at the plumbing underneath Breacon dormitory, the heating and everything, just knowing how everything works, knowing who is in charge of what, whose hands go where, it was really inspiring and empowering, and it just raised this sense of awareness: I am not the only one here, I am not just moving through, but there is this huge capsule of everyone whose lives are intersecting with mine.”
Continue reading: Sharing the responsibility for learning