Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Thoughts on the first day of school

My best friend from college spent last weekend taking her eldest daughter across the country to college for her Freshman year. My dear friend's experience and feelings about the transition for her and her daughter prompted me to ponder how my students feel this week.

As an  adjunct professor of Management at the University of Missouri-KC School of Management, I begin teaching an undergrad management course today. The MBA course I will teach this semester begins in October.

What are my students feeling this first week of class? Former students told me how they felt the first week of class: nervous about unknown teachers, mad about the cost of books, tired from busy summers, anxious about the workload, excited about the clean slate a new term brings, excited to meet new people, nervous about meeting new people, worried none of it will matter anyway because there are no jobs.

In thinking about the students and their futures, I will honor the following priorities and promises:

  • Course resources: Your book and course pack will be used. You will get your money's worth. They are valuable resources worth keeping, if you can.
  • Your time: You are choosing to spend about three hours with me each week, and I promise to work hard to make the time worth it. If you do the work each week, your time in the course will be worth it because you will be better managers for having the experience. The best managers can become the best leaders--and they can change entire companies!
  • My time: I will honor my time also. We all have a finite number of minutes here on this earth, and I don't waste many of them. I'm All-In! Come to class prepared and our time will be spent well.
  • Energy: I will come to class prepared and excited to be there. Our energy feeds off each other's, but it starts with the leader. I don't expect you to pump me up every class. I expect you to respond to the energy I bring--heck, let's face it, that's what happens anyway. 
  • Honor: I consider it a great honor to be part of your education, and I take the small role I play in the course of your education and life seriously. You make personal and financial sacrifices to pursue your education, and I respect you for it and will honor it.
  • Integrity: I will serve you with integrity, and I expect you to pursue your grade with the highest standard of integrity, honesty, and ethics. There will be no exceptions tolerated.
  • Excitement: The courses I get to teach are full of useful information that matters in the real world. We will talk about people, events, and companies that matter. I love this stuff and can't wait to share and discuss it with you!
  • Guarantee: While I cannot guarantee you will get an A or a big job upon graduation, I can guarantee that if you do great work, respect me, your classmates, and the material, I will be in your corner. I will share resources with you, coach you, open my network to you, and cheer for you. Once you are in my class, you become part of a network of people I care about. You will always matter to me because I will have been honored to be your professor. If you are All-In, I will be too.

That's all I can think of without getting too sappy about life. I know this semester is an important foundation for my students' careers, and I will serve them well.

Let's go Roos!

No comments:

Post a Comment