Gaining New Perspectives
Working as partners, faculty, staff, and students gain access to one another’s educational experiences and perspectives, at once complicating and clarifying their vision of education and each other.
“I find it really fascinating how much [my student consultant] is able to observe, which I cannot from my vantage point, and I mean this not only figuratively but also literally, as she has a line of sight into the space of the classroom which I do not have from where I stand. Her observations have helped to open up for me the space in the classroom in ways which I have not seen before.”
“I like that [my student consultant’s] presence—her comments, but her presence itself too—not only gives me the benefit of her lighthouse-like observations, but makes me observe from the same kind of remove, even as I am engaged in the everyday work of teaching the class. This split experience of my class as an immediate act and experience, but also a larger narrative that I’m looking down upon, is something I hope to carry into all my teaching.”
“This experience has made me increasingly alive to both the professor’s perspective and to my own responsibilities as a student in creating and maintaining a positive and effective learning environment for all members of the class.”
“My involvement [as a student consultant] has allowed me to view the experience of learning when I am not engaged in that role [of learner] myself. If I don’t understand something that the professor is explaining, I try to figure out why I don’t understand it, as opposed to struggling how to write the course content in my notebook. This feeling provides a clear space for me to think about how a professor teaches and I learn, as opposed to what is being taught and learned.”
“The biggest change in myself is appreciating what everyone does on campus. Because during my freshman year I think I just kind of went through, I didn’t really make connections. I mean, I made connections with Bryn Mawr students, but not staff members. And that’s really the biggest change in myself, saying that extra ‘thank you,’ really appreciating what everyone does—housekeepers and every staff member. It’s really a huge change in myself.”
Continue reading: Deepening awareness and engagement