"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
My purpose is to support and promote students both inside and outside the classroom, to create environments of trust between students, faculty, peers, and outside agencies and to act with compassion and empathy, as well as to embrace diversity and inclusion. I believe the purpose of combining both teaching and career advising is to allow students to learn skills that promote self-awareness, proper development of life/work direction, bolster their understanding of learning and work opportunities, and enable them to become self-directed in managing how to learn and work so that they may find professional success throughout a lifetime. To fulfill my purpose of supporting students, I will incorporate the skills I have learned from both my corporate and academic roles to ensure I am providing the best possible services to students who need them most. The four main skills/traits I will bring to my position that I believe are imperative to be an effective advisor and teacher, as well as to build rapport with my students and colleagues are: empathy and listening, encouragement, curiosity, and inclusion.
Empathy and thoughtful listening
I believe the essence of counseling is the establishment of relationships in which the student experiences being sensitively heard and understood. When advising students, I will make sure I am listening, understanding and validating them for the current circumstances they are in and whomever they are (age, gender, sexual preference, socioeconomic, culture, disabilities, and beliefs.). When one gives students space to speak and be heard, they will tell you their story, and you will get clues about how to help them develop solutions. The only means of accomplishing this is through thoughtful listening. We listen to understand and when we can understand, we receive trust, and when one gains trust, one can create, collaborate, and guide.
Encouragement and relationship building
I believe in building a strong set of interpersonal skills to help establish relationships with students, faculty, staff, and outside agencies. By building strong relationships and encouraging students, I am promoting self-efficacy. As a career advisor, I cannot literally land a job or internship for a student, but I can provide counseling and help them improve their skills to build the confidence they need to succeed on their career paths. A teacher’s and career advisor’s role is to provide direction and motivation, while the follow-through is up to the student.
Curiosity and lifelong learning
Curiosity has the power to motivate learning in every area. Indeed, it can point students towards knowledge, skills, relationships, and experience. An important part of the learning experience at colleges and universities is preparing students, faculty, and staff to become engaged lifelong learners. Everyone knows how much knowledge has changed, including how we receive it and access it, (i.e., the speed and amount). It is imperative that I, as a teacher and adviser, double as a lifelong learner. New techniques, methods, policies, and procedures are constantly being created to improve and develop departments. Lifelong learning enhances our understanding of the world and provides opportunities to improve quality of life. Lifelong learning fosters the development of a whole student and promotes safe environments for creation, discovery, reinvention, and transformation. Indeed, “We should not limit the definitions of higher education to completion of a degree. Instead, we should think of a degree as a milestone in the relationship between the learner, the learner community, and the institutions” (Johnson & Rascoff, 2016).
Diversity and Inclusion
The incoming group of young adults entering college, Generation Z, is said to be the most ethnically diverse generation in U.S. history. I believe that the campus community is made stronger when a multitude of age, gender, sexualities, socioeconomic levels, cultures, and beliefs are represented. Social justice and inclusion foster a better working and learning environment for everyone. Social justice and inclusion aim to support a society in which people (students, faculty, and staff) feel free, and all share the same chances to achieve the most sought-after positions and goals. Inclusion helps find connections between the students and enables them to feel connected to their campus environments through networking, learning, and educating one another about their differences and similarities. I will strive to be an agent of change creating both brave and safe places in my advising and classroom.