You have 50 or 80 minutes at a time and a room full of students. (If you're a speaker/trainer/sales or marketing pro, you have a room full of professionals. Read on, and get the bonus messages.) You do your best to reach them with active learning techniques, the effective use of technology, and/or meaningful assessments and questions. You almost feel like you have to be a superhero to ensure everyone gets it ... to ensure everyone is engaged ... to ensure everyone is positioned to see utility in the information you provide. Put some of the responsibility on your students' shoulders, and have them do this one thing - regardless of their major and regardless of what you teach - to positively influence the trajectory of their academic success. That one thing is ...
Educators find themselves insisting new students make the leap and behave differently, more responsibly, more seriously with regard to their academic ambitions once they enter onto our college campuses. As such, educators can also find themselves in a quandary, convening in the faculty workroom or in online educator forums commiserating with colleagues over new students not rising to the occasion as quickly as they would prefer.
By the time they reach college doors, though, they have been children much longer than they have been adults, and many may have come from the school of thought that children are to be seen and not heard when it comes to engaging in the learning process and education on a whole. How, then, can educators expect thirteen years of habits and expectations to become undone and reworked during the course of, say, one new student orientation session?
Here are three recommendations for educators to help students successfully make the leap and make it in a more timely fashion:
"College is not the thirteenth grade."
How many of you can remember hearing something to that effect being announced at freshman orientation when you were a student, starting out on your college journey? You may have facetiously gasped in surprise. You may have rolled your eyes at the absurdity of the statement. (You were seventeen- or eighteen-years-old at the time, so that would have been totally normal, right?) You may have laughed it off.
Or you may have had a moment of clarity and a lightbulb popped on.