of Dr. Steven L. Berg

Student Engagement

Today, at the University Bound Steering Committee meeting, I met Dr. William Hill from Wayne State.  After the meeting we were discussing Student Engagement.  One of the things we talked about was how difficult it is to work on campus because students are sure to find us.  One of the realities of being engaged with students is that engagement takes time.  However, neither of us were complaining because engagement is also very fulfilling.

In order to attend the University Bound Steering Committee meeting, I had to leave one of my classes very early.  Because it was my film class I showed the 1960 version of Little Shop of Horrors and will show the 1986 version on Thursday.  Because I respect and trust students, I find that they are respectful and can be trusted.

During the period I was in class, we were setting up times for our class presentations which will begin next week.  I said that I would not be in class next Thursday so there would be no presentations on that day.  However, one team who had not been able to volunteer for an early time slot asked if they could go on March 22.  I remembered them that I would not be there on Thursday and they told me that that was OK with them.

One of my students approached me with two of his friends who were in another section of ENG 102.  They were struggling in the other class and wanted to transfer into the section I was teaching.  They told me that my colleague was a nice person, but that for reasons of style and approach that they could be more successful in my course.  I asked their friend if he would be responsible for catching them in our class.  He agreed.   And I signed the forms to allow them to add the section.

The students were not behind in my colleague’s class and spoke highly of her.  They also knew some key concepts such as the databases.  As faculty members, we cannot be all things to all people.  There are students who transfer out of my class because I cannot provide the type of structure they crave.  I remember one student from some time back who transferred to a colleague’s class late in the semester.  Because I thought it seemed obvious that he did not like me, I discovered I was mistaken when he came by my office to tell me he had transferred and that although he liked me that the class was not for him.

It was very strange to wake up to a house filled with morning confusion.  At one point, there were the two dogs, the two cats, and Ric were bouncing around the living room.  Generally, when I first get out of bed, the house has been quiet.  Sometimes, of late, I have not even been turning on the radio.


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