February 16, 2017 by Kathryn Kuttis
Active listening is my best research tool. It plays a major role in effective communication. While good teaching can translate into classroom engagement and exchange, many of my insights from office hours when I talk one on one with students.
As an instructor, students are my target audience. To be good at my job I need to know what they think about classes, assignments, career opportunities and #lifeasajstudent.
In the PR sequence, we ask students to connect with their faculty advisor during week 6 so they can talk about courses before registration opens for next term. For some this might be their first exposure to office hours.
Usually students are surprised to discover that this resource is available. Yes, you can drop in and talk with any faculty member. You can share ideas or ask questions about course assignments, SOJC groups, study abroad, internships and career development. After a conversation with a student, I always encourage them to come back and check in. Some do. I’ve had a few students who make a habit of office hours and come to see me every week. We learn a lot from each other and when they graduate we stay in touch.
How do you use office hours?
Here are Three Myths About Office Hours:
- Faculty members are too busy to meet. We are busy but we need to talk with students to stay relevant and improve our impact as teachers.
- You need an appointment. Office hours are drop in times that we hold open for these conversations. Anyone can drop in during these times.
- It has to be your professor. Every member of our faculty is available to meet with students, even if you aren’t in a class with them.
As students, you have access to an incredibly talented faculty at the SOJC. Did you know we have three Pulitzer Prize-winners in Allen Hall? You can easily get to know your faculty. Follow them on Twitter, join their student group, read their blog. Then visit them during office hours and talk. Build your network. Use them to learn more about your classes, your industry and your career.
If you can’t make office hours, most faculty members are glad to make an appointment to meet. The office hours aren’t the only time you can see faculty, it’s just the time we set aside to be in our office (almost always) waiting for you to drop in.
I’m happy to report that almost all of my J452 students this term have visited my office hours. Let me know in the comments section what you took away from our meeting. Did you get networking tips, solve a problem? Was it what you expected? Are you going to come back? Was there a discouraging line outside my door?
What you haven’t come to see me? Well there’s still time: Tues/Wed 10-12. You’re invited.
Here are the blog kernels for this week with just the headline and publication listed. I’m interested to see how you relate them to your blog topics. Go PR strategic communicators!
Environmentally Friendly Ways of Traveling (CostaricanNews)
Richard Edelman on America’s trust crisis—and how business can respond (Crain’s Chicago)
Snow-making companies in a warming world (Economist)