Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Providing Extra Help

Yesterday, I wrote about the difficulties of having exchange students in a public speaking class. Today, I want to present the other side of that.

I was not aware of this but my campus has a smile patrol. Students have the opportunity to nominate people they deal with in the college community for a “Smiley” award. If nominated, a group of individuals comes into your class and presents you with a basket of goodies and lets you know who submitted your name (it can be done anonymously) and what they said about you.

I found out about this last semester when the group came into my class to present the goodies. One of the exchange students from Japan submitted my name saying I was always willing to take time out to give students whatever extra help they wanted.

The truth is, I feel this is just what a teacher should do. If a student comes up to you seeking extra help, s/he has a right to get that help. Over the years I have mentored students with presentations they have been giving and I am always willing to help a student out with a project. Again, I state, is not what teaching is all about. I never did that to get any kind of recognition.

I do have to admit, however, it was a nice feeling to have people come into the class and acknowledge me. It was an even nicer feeling to know that my students, or at least specifically this one (Yes, I know there are others) recognized and appreciated the fact that I always want to help students out.

Sometimes, while it can be more challenging teaching exchange students, the rewards are greater. The often times seek the extra help and they appreciate getting it. It is a good life lesson to learn as well, to always try and give people extra help and consideration when needed. Not that you should do it for this reason but you never know when someone may acknowledge it. More importantly, you never know when you may really touch someone’s life for the good.