“[W]hy any of “us”—meaning faculty—would want to have any kind of personal relationship with students”

I’m a big fan of all the writers at the University of Venus, not just because I have long been a supporter of women in the STEMM disciplines. Regardless of the age of these authors, they tend to be at the cutting edge of technology in the academy.

So, I was delighted by this post by Dr. Denise Horn, founding Venusian and Assistant Professor of International Affairs at Northeastern University, which I first found at Inside Higher Ed.

Yes, I learn from you, my friends.

I’ve long held that we have as much to learn from our students as they from us. Communicating with students where they are, regardless of whether it’s 1987 or 2010, has been effective for me. Within limits (i.e., common sense: keep your distance and let a student send you a friend request first), Facebook can be a terrific way to open dialogue and communicate academic and extracurricular information. As a professor, you can also model proper social media behavior.

But I truly love Dr. Horn’s closing paragraph because it so beautifully captures how I feel about what my students have brought to my life over the last 20+ years:

Despite the difference in our ages, these young friends of mine make life richer. Often times in our efforts to establish ourselves as authority figures in the classroom and in the academy, we forget that we are making all sorts of impressions on our students that we may underestimate. But they make impressions on us, too. They can be potential friends and allies. They can hold up a mirror to our self-importance and the self-insulating nature of academia. And they can connect us to the world of young, exciting, bold ideas to keep our work fresh and relevant.

Read Denise Horn’s full post here at Inside Higher Ed.

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4 Responses to “[W]hy any of “us”—meaning faculty—would want to have any kind of personal relationship with students”

  1. Denise Horn says:

    David, thank you so much for the commentary! I’m glad you feel the same way.

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  3. David Kroll says:

    Dr. Horn, I wish I had more colleagues like you. Thank you for all the work you and others do at University of Venus and congratulations on the partnership with Inside Higher Ed that began in July!

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