As a participating member of this year’s conference, I am glad to see the intention of bringing a real student center approach environment to the conference has been on point thus far.
Keynote Speaker, Scarlett Lewis
Taking Your Personal Power Back by Choosing Love as a Thoughtful Response, In Every Circumstance
A great opportunity to lead by example. Her presentation was very personal, she allowed us to come into her life and see how she practices choosing to love despite the circumstances. Lewis talked about being in the moment with her son as they are both facing a very difficult time and how this helped her with her own healing process. She took the opportunity to teach her son how to cope with a difficult situation and pain as she was going through it herself. Teaching by modeling the behavior is one of the best ways to help our students put those behaviors into practice in life and in the classroom.
Dr. Cara Metz
Empathy in Education: Online Teaching Through a Person-Centered Approach
Dr. Metz brought awareness and reminded us of the importance of validation to our students. When we feel heard, we engage in a conversation and are more open to feedback. This can also invite students to ask more clarifying questions for their next assignments and not just focus on what was wrong or what they missed on the previous ones.
Both, Dr. Metz and Lewis mentioned the importance of being present and to really listen to what our students are trying to communicate, rather than making assumptions of what is being said or understood. Modeling by engaging in a conversation and inviting students to participate in the process of understanding how an assignment can be revised or what needs to be communicated differently, will let our students know that we are here to support them in whichever way we can without judgement. This can be especially important during a time of crisis in a student’s life. Knowing that they can reach out to their instructors and that there is a human on the other side, will allow for better communication; which both, Dr. Metz and Lewis bring attention to this as an important component to establish good connections, as well as a supportive environment for our students.
Ashford University/Student Affairs