A Practical Suggestion from a Colleague
This week's MMM comes from a colleague who is an adjunct professor at Arizona State University. The idea is a simple, yet profound one that may be of help in your classes. Let me encourage each of you to share your creativity with other Christian colleagues as well. We have so much to learn from each other!
I'm an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University teaching a Broadcast Writing class. I open up each class period with a "Tip of the Day" by having students ponder some of life's important questions and then offer advice after students have been given the opportunity to share their answers. Some of the questions I have asked include: How would you define success? What is your greatest strength? What gives you joy in your life?
By answering such questions, it allows me to know where my students are at and be able to minister to them individually by sending them an occasional email note of encouragement based on what they've written concerning these topics. At the end of the semester, I give each of them all their written "Tips of the Day" in a book form for them to keep with hopes they can reflect on their answers to help motivate them as they pursue their careers and personal growth and development. I make sure we only spend a short time (no longer than 10 minutes) at the beginning of class, and I've noticed this has helped the students become much more receptive to learning.
I believe I must know the needs of my students before I can minister to them. This technique has also created an openness among my students from the first day of class. It has also helped create a positive classroom environment, strengthening student attendance and active participation.
Action Point: How can you get to know the needs of your students? Can you use, or adapt, this to your classroom situation? Be creative!
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