How close are we from our students?

When watching the TedTalk video together at class, it reminds me of my friend who was a graduate student at VT and also was a student of this class one year ago! Now, he’s an assistant professor at a university in my home country.  When I met him after teaching one semester, I asked: how was it?  What you think you did differently from others given you just graduated and took “Contemp Pedagogy”?!. What was your achievement?

I was impressed by his response that five students of his class got internships (which is very difficult and unusual at my home country) with the help of him although he doesn’t have a communication with the industrial field and has not yet built a profile with industry.

The secret is that he assigned one hour of his schedule for his students who need any help that is not related to the class such as reviewing resumes and consultations. Although one hour in a week is nothing to him but it means a lot to his students. He also started giving his students non-classical assignments such visiting the industrial field and attending the career fair and then he asks the students to give a presentation to their colleagues at class. This is not just to help the presenter but the class as a whole. To sum up, it is important for new faculty to think differently and be the ideal professor that he was thinking of when he was a student.

To me, the job of the professor is not just teaching but it’s being a close friend and a true consultant for his/her students. This is the great advantage of face-to-face learning that online learning cannot do. If a student fails in a class, then it’s a failing of the professor FIRST!