These little meetings allow me to take some time to really connect with them one on one to talk about the class, their other classes, their hopes and dreams or anything else they want to talk about. It allows me to share with them the strengths and great qualities I see in them; to answer any questions they may have; and to get to know them just a little bit better.
Even though all the student meetings make for a hectic week it is so very worth it to me. I want my students to know that they are more than just seat fillers – I want them to know that they matter and that I choose to do the job I do because I believe in their potential.
I have learned over the years that not every faculty member has the time or inclination to get to know all their students. Some faculty members teach huge lecture hall classes and others like to keep stutdents at arm’s length. I am lucky that I have more manageeble class sizes and can structure my classes as I see fit.
So, I insist they come and we talk and it is a nice way to wrap up the semester. And I hope that a least one small thing that I have shared with them about what I think makes them fabulous stays with them as they go about the rest of their college career and their subsequent work life.
You see, I know the extent to which the things we say to other people leave a mark – for better or worse. I have many marks that have stayed with me over the years, but one of the ones that stayed with me most was left many years ago by a professor – Dr. Bill Toth. He believed in my potential before I even knew I had any…he told me what was fabulous about me. I wouldn’t be where I am at today but for him taking the time to leave a mark.
What we say to others matters, so go ahead – leave a mark.
Day one thousand and thirty-eight of the new forty – obla di obla da