Preparing for Student Stress

Steven Volk, September 2, 2013

We talk often about getting to know our students at the start of the semester, starting with learning their names. You likely know, for example, that your courses on Blackboard provide a photo of your registered students. Find “Course Tools,” and then “Student Roster.” At the very least you’ll know what they LOOKED like when the picture was taken (which might bear no resemblance to what they currently look like). Often faculty hand out index cards or small slips of paper asking students to mention one thing by which you, the faculty, can use to remember them: a kind of mnemonic device (Elizabeth loves Maine lobster). In small classes, you can have students interview each other for a few minutes and then the “interviewer” introduces the “interviewee” to the class.

There are also ways to learn about in-coming students in a broader, sociological, sense. I always enjoy the famous Beloit College “Mindset List”, which reflects the world view of new students. Some of my favorites for the incoming Class of 2017 (born in 1995): Eminem and LL Cool J could show up at parents’ weekend, and Gaga has never been baby talk. Continue reading