More Than Just a Student

John Madsen made a comment in his blog about not understanding the point of continuously going over our names in the first few classes. Like John, I felt this activity was redundant, and not the best use of time, but only at first.

During my academic career, I have been conditioned to think that teachers are more concerned with spending time focused on course curriculum than focusing time on learning about the student body.Due to this, it felt unusual to me for Beth to be spending so much time learning names, which is pretty disappointing. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how this activity was actually a productive use of time. It set the environment for the class, which now felt more welcoming and personal. I have noticed how by just knowing each others’ names, our discussions have become more productive and enriched. For example, today in our discussion on GLOBE, a majority of students clarified the preceding points they were commenting on by stating the name(s) of the individual who said it. We are addressing people by their names, and referring to their points; this strongly correlates with the ideal discussion environment described by Graff and Birkenstein in They Say I Say, and the templates they provide (pg 141). 

This environment would not be possible without Beth taking the time to learn our names. As a student, it made me feel appreciated that my professor cared to get to know me as an individual. Another example of this is from today’s class when Beth paused the lesson to have all of us state our majors. This seemed out of the ordinary to me, just like the time spent on our names. However, this again was something I appreciated, as it made me feel like I was more than just a student to my professor.

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