Monday, May 10, 2021

Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week passed last week. I miss not being able to bake for and serve at the teachers’ appreciation breakfast at my son’s high school. But, during the pandemic I have mastered new and exciting baking skills and will bring them next year (seriously, I can make cranberry jam now). I thought I would make a list of some things I appreciate as an Academic Support faculty member:

  1. Doctrinal professors who see students struggling and refer them to us. We try in academic support to keep the cracks very small, but between assessments chasms can grow and we would never be aware of them but for doctrinal professors who are on top of things.
  1. Administrators and colleagues who actually are familiar with what we do in academic support. I have spent a little too much time this year in committees saying, “yes, it is a good idea, that’s why we already do this….” Sigh. I think “ASP, the Musical” might have to go back on the table because a little song and dance may help with messaging.
  1. Students who ask for advice, take it, and report back. I don’t care if what I told you is wrong (okay, actually that kills me a little), but I really love when a student tells me that they actually followed my advice. I love it more when it works. But if it didn’t, at least I won’t make the mistake again and I will bend over backwards and do a death drop to fix it for that student. Go ahead and Google death drop and if you know me, picture me doing it-on purpose….I’ll wait until the laughter subsides.
  1. A Dean of Students office that values my perspective. When I tell our Dean of Students office that I am worried about a student, they respond quickly and kindly. I may see the problems, but they have the power to solve (most of) them. Together, we are the village that gets our students to the finish line.
  1. The Law School Academic Support professional community. This has to be the most generous and understanding community in all of law academia. I once mentioned in a meeting that I am teaching an MPT class this year and had three offers of materials-soup to nuts- in less than thirty seconds. You are never alone in this ASP journey. As I told our Dean when he came to welcome our regional conference participants, there is nothing to be nervous about in addressing us, after all--we are ASP.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to all my colleagues.

(Elizabeth Stillman - Guest Blogger)

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