Helping Students Seek Help
The semester is now in full swing. In his September 2012 Inside Higher Ed essay, “The Missing Element in Student Success”, Mike Rose explores the importance of instructors helping students succeed. He points out a few obstacles:“Students can be reluctant to speak up or ask for assistance for a wide range of reasons: shyness, fear of revealing ignorance, distaste for claiming the spotlight, cultural norms, codes of masculinity, and more.” He further points out that “a related issue is a reluctance to seek help. This reluctance can be rooted in pride and notions of self-reliance. It can stem from shyness or embarrassment. But something else can be at play: an unfamiliarity or lack of comfort with help-seeking behavior within institutions. Many students with privileged educational backgrounds are socialized from day one to seek out resources and engage members of institutions to help them attain their goals. This seems so much like second nature to most academics that we forget that it is a culturally influenced, learned behavior.”
What steps do you take to encourage your students to seek help in your class, at HWC or wherever they are?