I have awesome students. It’s a simple truth. I will admittedly get bogged down and discouraged along the road during a semester about what my students aren’t learning, aren’t accomplishing, or aren’t living up to, blah, blah, blah. But there are times when I am poignantly reminded that my students are great and they are special and they are supportive of me and the work I do with their student colleagues. (I know that sounds a little like the line from The Help: “You is good. You is kind…”) Yesterday was one of those times.
Last night as part of my capstone Masters project course, I invited a number of former students into our online class to offer up some perspectives and answer questions from the current students. Logan Caldwell, Dr. Joanne Gikas, Fair Josey, Jennifer Nelson, Dr. Suha Tamim, and Joey Weaver did an awesome job of sharing insights, experiences, and advice. They highlighted the diversity in their experiences in the course, but there was also a real ‘shared experience.’ You could tell there was a camaraderie in their comments and how they related to one another. I’m not sure if my current students picked up on it or not, but there was a tangible quality of we’ve-been-through-this-and-we-made-it-out-on-the-other-side-and-now-we-can-talk-about-it.
And I will admit that they did some things that I couldn’t do. I could probably say the same things they did, but they wouldn’t mean as much. (In fact, I do think I say some of those same things.) But coming from these veterans, it has real street-cred.
So, a BIG THANK YOU to these folks. You guys are awe-some!
And if you’re reading this and thinking, could I do that in one of my classes? I think you should try it. Bringing back some former students and making time in class to have them offer some unique perspectives is a good thing to try. Or if you’re already doing this, I’d love to hear more about it. So, please share it in the comments.