Creating Opportunities – One Student at a Time
Each month the “Staying On Course” newsletter focuses on a teaching strategy, professional development opportunities, resources, and the activities of your colleagues. This month the focus is on kindness and caring for each other as colleagues, co-workers, and co-inhabitants of this world. While listening, observing, and talking with other on our campus is no secret that many have had challenges (for lack of a better word) in the recent months / year. Health battles (some conquered with a vengeance and many still struggling), losses of loved ones and friends, mental health struggles (stress, depression, among others), and other issues not shared or known.
Most have heard the phrase, “You have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of others.” The airline industry has been telling its passengers, “In the case of an emergency, place the airbag on yourself before assisting others” for decades. For some self-care is easy to do, and of course the definition of self-care varies among age groups, stages of life, occupation, among other factors. For many, self-care is placed on the back-burner or seems selfish because there is so much else to do. As front-line staff, instructors, counselors, and administrators serving at the college level, we deeply interact with more people on a daily basis than most professions. If we are drained, how effective are we in our interactions with others?
What can we do about it? The first is that we need to take better care of ourselves (in whatever form that is effective for each person). The second is that we need to also care for the others around us, which is what the intention of this article and idea of 28 days of kindness. What does this mean? We know about and celebrate the life of Molly Griffin every August when we participate in Molly Week activities focused on acts of kindness, we have Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th, and of course being kind does not limit itself to specific weeks or days so any time to be kind is always appreciated. However, what if we focused on being kind to ourselves each day this month AND did a random act of kindness for one of your colleagues / co-workers each day this month?
So, are you with me? Keep in mind that not all random acts of kindness have to be grand gestures and we already know how generous and giving the folks on this campus are. The idea is to be intentional in your random act of kindness. The benefits outweigh any possible negatives because the giver of kindness is happy and the recipient of kindness is happy. There is also a correlation between showing kindness, being grateful, and happiness and there is plenty of research about this from various universities (Harvard being one of them).
I know the Clovis Community College folks already have ideas, but here are some simple ways to show kindness to your co-workers.
Have you ever worried about a student or noticed a student's behavior or attitude decline? Do you have students who are veterans? Do you have students who are LGBTQ? If you said yes to any of the above questions then the Kognito Online Training is for you.
There are three modules for faculty and staff and three modules for students that provide insights and strategies to help faculty and staff work with these students.
To access the training modules:
At the end of the modules, print out your certificate. Everyone who completes this training by the end of the month (February 28th) will be placed in a drawing for a $25.00 gift card to The Cheesecake Factory. Scan and e-mail your completed certificate to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1, 2018 to be entered in the drawing.
Attention instructors who teach online courses. Dr. Jonathan Brennan (who has facilitated all of our On Course Workshops) will be on our campus once again in August. The two-day workshop will be held on Friday, August 10th (FLEX day) and Saturday, August 11th . This is a one-time workshop held on our campus and registration is required. If you are interested, please e-mail Ann Brandon email@example.com to reserve your spot. More details coming soon.