Last year about this time, PBS aired a special on TED Talks Education.  You can check out the whole playlist here:

In the first video, posted above, Rita Pierson address challenges that many community college students face: poverty, low attendance, and negative peer influence.  As she states in the talk, these challenges predict poor performance.  Her solution can be applied to Kirkwood:   We (faculty & staff at Kirkwood) need to form significant relationships with our students.  Two shortcuts to forming better relationships are:

  1. Seek first to understand your students rather than to be understood
  2. Apologize for your mistakes and misdirection

KCELT has met many faculty members who have done this, and many of them are featured on this blog.  There are also many faculty who don’t want or need the recognition because their engagement and connection with students is enough, but we don’t know that.

As we end our academic year at Kirkwood, please take some time to watch this video to help confirm or reaffirm why you are teaching and support our students.  There’s more to education than delivering content (that’s what Google is for).  We share the successes and failures of our students.  I hope this year has put a greater number on the path of (not to) success.

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