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Art of Listening

This last week my office hours were teeming with students who wanted to get help with their paper proposals. Many wanted more direction about my comments, so that they could improve their assignment. For some students this process is not easy. I can see hands shaking and nervous looks as they sat and chatted with me.

But, I would be remiss if I did not address that a small number of students come to office hours and are somewhat defensive. Again, this is a small amount and I would offer that one common trait with this small number is that they do not really listen. They are typically waiting to talk and respond, but tend to not listen to the advice or direction that I offer.

This small group is also typically convinced that their idea/topic is perfect and does not need any revision. These moments cause interesting conversations, as I am trying to help and I am cognizant of my grading rubric. It is my class!

The best advice I can give is patience. It is hard to review and revision our work and this is also hard for our students. I keep on reminding myself of this when each student enters my office. And, I explain this to my Teaching Assistants, too.

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