Sunday, August 16, 2020

The Year Begins!!

I enjoy describing the seasons changing and how it relates to where we are in law school.  Normally, I would write about the hot summer days and getting back to work with new students.  However, my description this year would be close to the cool breeze from my air conditioner permeates my home office setup, which is really a laptop at my kitchen counter.  Not quite the same imagery as previous years.

The imagery is not the only thing different this year.  Many schools are online, while others created numerous sections to stay in-person.  Some schools are using so many sections non-class activities will not happen live.  Not only that, ASPers are always the big draw.  We couldn't possibly social distance with our crowds, or at least that is my optimism at the beginning of the year.  Most of us will need to change our programming to reach students.

Everything seems different.  The images, programs, students, and classes will be new experiences.  Many of us will continue to try to make our program the perfect hybrid, online, asynchronous, etc. experience possible.  I commend everyone for that.  However, let's not forget a sound piece of advice we provide our students every year.  Don't miss the forest for the trees.  Fundamentally, we are trying to help students succeed to his/her best ability.  To do that, most of them just need a guide with solid directions.  Becoming a guide or coach comes from building relationships with our students.  They understand the difficulties of the current crisis, and most of them appreciate what schools are doing to be both safe and provide quality education.  We can build those relationships in classes, zooms, teams, and imperfect workshops.  You will have amazing opportunities this year to empathize and be present for students.  Embrace those opportunities.

Nearly all ASPers are building amazing workshops, and keep doing it so I can continue to borrow your ideas.  Don't spend so much time on those workshops though and miss the chances to reach students.  Embrace your new relationships!

(Steven F0ster)  

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/academic_support/2020/08/the-year-begins.html

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