Last week, I participated in a workshop about addressing social-emotional learnings (SEL) and cultural awareness issues in the classroom. One of the articles the facilitator had written about was building confidence in teachers. It made me think about how we build confidence in our students.

I have had many students express frustration with a lack of support from faculty and supervisors in the past. I have often reminded students that they will get through the academic process and everyone else in the course is also going through the academic hurdles for the first time. I thought maybe an ounce of prevention would be more effective and reduce student stress levels. I have watched my own college-aged children struggle with the “new normal” of a difficult academic year for many.

Often, faculty are difficult to get ahold of, and both of my own children have had faculty not respond to queries. We need to make sure we are responsive to student emails, calls, and other queries. Beyond that, we should be proactive and available to students. A good practice is to ensure your university email and phone messages are forwarded to your phone so you can respond to students even when away from your desk.

I created a simple two-question survey after the first session of my courses this semester. I asked students for three things I could do to assist them in order for them to be successful and confident of that success in the course. Secondly, I asked if they had any questions about the course that were not answered in the first session. I responded to those issues by posting an announcement in the LMS addressing all the issues raised for each course. However, responses to the first question are more generalizable.

About the Author:

Steven M. Baule, ED.D., PH.D., is an Assistant Professor of Leadership Education at Winona State University.