Do you conference?

One of my favorite perks of teaching on campus is the ability to do student conferences. (Yes, I know you can do student conferences via zoom, which is very useful, but not as fun!) After every paper this semester, I have students come in to see me for about 5-10 minutes. We check their grades, talk about what’s going on in their lives, and I give them candy. 😉

I thought in this last post of this 6×16 session, I’d give you a few of the benefits of one on one student conferencing:

  1. Increase student success–often students aren’t aware of what they are missing–or they are too scared to ask if they have questions. When students are sitting in my office with me, I become a lot more approachable. I can help them get caught up, strategize ways to improve their outcomes (study skills, college resources, making a schedule, etc), and just listen to them. Those moments of feeling known, of being important enough to have our attention, are so vital to increasing student confidence.
  2. Get to know students–our students are pretty amazing. We can learn so much from them; truly, my students inspire me! I had the privilege of listening to one student who, for the first time, was able to articulate his dream. WOW! Those few moments one on one with my students are priceless.
  3. Students get to know us–for many students, especially first generation college students, approaching a professor (or asking for help at all) is intimidating. Once they realize that I’m a person, too, they are much more comfortable asking me questions, in and out of class. I love having students walk up to me in Target or on campus just to say hi. 🙂
  4. Increase enrollment–when students are in our classes, we are the face of YC. When we pay attention, students extrapolate that to YC. YC cares. YC knows who I am. I had one student tell me that never in his life had a professor told him he was a good student. Others tell me no one ever believed they could pass an English class. When we believe in our students, they want to stay at YC. Plus, our students will want to keep taking classes with us. My 101 class filled up within 2 days of registration opening with current 100 students. I’m pretty excited to see those familiar faces next semester! 🙂

If you aren’t currently conferencing, I hope that this inspires you to at least think about it. Thanks for listening!