In my last post I wrote about teaching from the microcosm, one of my favorite chapters from Parker Palmer’s The Courage to Teach. Now I’d like to delve into another concept I’ve adapted from this classic text to include in my own work: paradoxes in instruction.
I came across the classic book, The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life by Parker J. Palmer, thanks to its inclusion on the reading list for our campus Teaching Support Program. It is a powerful book and I am immensely grateful to Parker Palmer for writing it—according to the forward, it took 10 years to complete. Despite its age, originally published in 1998 and reissued at the 10th anniversary in 2007, it speaks to today’s teaching landscape well. Of particular interest to my work was Parker’s practical teaching idea: Teaching from the Microcosm (Palmer, 2007, pp. 123 - 135).
This blog series has focused on librarians establishing connections and engaging with first-year students. This post switches gears and focuses on collaborating with professors to reduce library anxiety and engage students during library instruction.
By Beth Black and Amy Pajewski
In the second installment of our two-part interview (read Part I here), student success librarian Amy Pajewski and I discuss the challenges that went into designing and launching her student leadership program—and how she and her institution have overcome these hurdles.
By Beth Black and Amy Pajewski
I met Amy at the Students in Transitions Conference in October 2018 when I attended a session she led on giving student employees in the library leadership roles. Similar to how we build upon the lessons of the FYE to continue students’ momentum in their second year, elevating student employment beyond the basics is a great way to increase engagement and cultivate valuable skills. In this two-part interview, we discuss her library's leadership program and the challenges she's overcome in transitioning the student employee experience.
Sometimes the best program ideas come from a spark in a casual conversation. Recently, a colleague made an offhand suggestion that we offer adulting workshops because her student staff stressed about responsibilities like filing taxes and understanding their credit reports. At first we laughed, then we realized there were a number of “adulting” responsibilities that students might find more manageable if they understood how information literacy skills could be used outside the classroom. From that staff meeting Adulting 101 was born.
Previously we discussed the ways in which student employment can be viewed as a High-Impact Practice, and how libraries can take advantage of this opportunity to deepen relationships with student workers and teach them even more valuable skills. Now I’d like to highlight a program that’s done this particularly well.
As libraries look for more opportunities to increase our impact on institutional goals like retention and student success, we can’t overlook the student employees shelving books and working behind the circ desk. I remember a presentation at the 2015 ACRL conference on this topic that had a major impact on me. Jill Markgraf, a librarian from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, delivered a contributed paper titled, “Unleash Your Library’s HIPster: Transforming Student Library Jobs into High-Impact Practices.”
Many colleges and universities bring incoming students to campus a few weeks or days prior to the start of the fall semester. These programs take several forms to address the needs of different individuals. Most have the common goal of helping students acclimate to campus and connect with key resources for a strong start to their college careers. Libraries and librarians have a lot to offer these initiatives. One example is the engagement University Libraries has with the Young Scholars Program (YSP) at Ohio State University.
You've taken the initial steps in connecting with first year students to ensure they have a smooth college transition. As we continue to assist students in their college transition and eliminate library anxiety, it is important to engage with students and engage them with library resources.