A Rightful Place of Instructors

One of the Herculean but mouth-watering duties of an instructor is assuming the role of a counselor. Despite the fact that an instructor’s primary goal is to impart academic knowledge in the field of content delivery, s/he has a secondary and an all-important task of shaping the moral behavior of students. Thus, an instructor’s role is holistic centering on the total development of the learner. This explains why instructors are normally painted with the phrase ‘shapers of future leaders’. Metaphorically, students are like a herd of cattle while teachers are herdsmen. As fragile, senseless, and immature like cows, students need occasional and sometimes frequent coaching from the most skillful and experienced tutors. If their paths are not directed, they can end up in deep pits that can even thwart their academic goals.

True, instructors are saddled with a lot of responsibilities in various educational institutions making time very scarce for them. However, they must urgently take up the roles of counselors so as not to defeat their ultimate aim of shaping students for the many difficult challenges in the future. This is so because some students have lost their parents to the cold hands of death. Also, those who have may not be fortunate to be blessed with morally focused parents to coach them properly. Some parents, due to the stress of work and the insatiable craving for wealth, spend all their time at work and hardly avail themselves to their wards to listen to their problems to offer them directions. The instructor has to sit in the seat of a parent to monitor and regulate the moral training of students.

Students confide in their instructors and majority of them see ‘parents’ in them. That is why when they are heavy with the toils of life, they run to these teachers. Thus, no matter how busy the schedules of teachers may be, they must spend quality time to offer practical directions to ease the constant life challenges of students. Also, introvert students must be carefully studied and drawn close to by instructors so that they can come to their rescue since it is very difficult for such ones to approach tutors with their problems.

Some instructors who are driven by money argue that they are not remunerated for this extra difficult duty and as such, they would not wear the shoes of coaches. Sound their protest may be, such teachers must recall that unlike other professions, teaching is a self-sacrificial job that attracts long-term recognizance and blessings that are sometimes far-fetched. Yet, patient tutors who guard their students receive such favors and more.

The ships of these fragile students may be wreaked by stormy situations such as bad company, discord relations, learning challenges, peer pressure to engage in vile and morally degrading pursuits, and much more. They must be counseled to bring them on track. If teachers go the extra mile to take up this wonderful role of counselors, they would marvel how their few words, a smile of assurance, shoulder tap of motivation, kind and caring ears can positively affect these fragile students! It can mean a total life overhauling and a life changer or saver for most of these young ones.

Lecturers at the university and other tertiary institutions are not excused from this duty. Some shun this role with the wrong notion that students at this stage of their lives are matured and as such can handle their own problems. Is this assertion true? Certainly not! As mature as instructors may be, they occasionally need the advice to handle some pressing situations in life, even with their highly weighed experiences in life. If grownups and the more experienced need coaching, how much more these students who have reached the pinnacle of their academic career. If instructors play their roles as counselors tactfully, they would be able to honor their calling as ‘shapers of future leaders’.

Method for Students Can Cope With The Stress of Second Choice Programmes

Programmes of study at the senior and tertiary levels of education in most countries are chosen in terms of priority by applicants. Three or four choices are offered to these applicants. However, first choice programmes are mostly what every applicant to a Senior High School or University wishes for. To most of them, gaining admission to the institution one applies to and reading his/her first choice programme is the best thing that can happen to a student applicant. This explains why a second choice programme, when offered to an applicant, results in great heartbreak and disappointment. Should these applicants continue to pursue the second choice programme or re-apply the following academic year for the first choice programme? The answer is dependent on various factors.

This includes the readiness of the applicant to better his/her grade and wait for the next academic year since this is usually the cause of a roll up to a second choice by the admissions unit of an institution. Also, another factor is the need to bear extra costs as a result of re-sitting some subjects to upgrade one’s grade on the part of those who wish to wait for the next academic year’s admission. It also comes with some degree of ridicule from age mates, classmates and members of the society who would associate academic weakness to the applicant’s inability to be enrolled.

Pondering over all these sacrifices an applicant needs to consider, the majority of them resort to the pursuance of the second choice courses against all odds. However, they sometimes have to battle with inadequacies within themselves and the urge to register despair for the second choice programme. This attitude must be shunned if the new student is to succeed with the second choice programme. It is true that some courses studied in educational institutions have many already established industries that are ready to employ new graduates in comparison with others. Yet, it must be borne in mind that every programme studied at the university has enterprising job outcomes that explain why it was given accreditation to be studied at the Senior High school or the University. Therefore, when every programme of study is pursued with excellence and hard work, it would result in wonderful future employment prospects.

To be able to cope with the challenges of second choice programmes, applicants must dissuade any internal grievances for it and rather create a likeness and passion for the course. This can be built by reading about the success stories of personalities who pursued the programme. Also, immersing and picturing oneself as a future employee of a firm that employs products from the course of study would urge the new entrant to be serious with the study of the course. Moreover, the new student must turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to any form of ridicule or derogatory and unfortunate comments about the course being pursued that issue forth from some students who boast of the supremacy of their programmes of study, as well as some lecturers and members of the society. More importantly, applicants must be focused and determined to succeed with the second choice programme. With diligence and hard work, the student would nurture strong desire for the course which would give birth to seriousness in the study of the course and possible employment avenues in the future.

Reasons Individuals Opt For Media Courses

A lot of individuals are looking for ways to help them have a better future. For one, individuals are studying hard to complete their course. Next, some individuals spend their time finding high-paying jobs. And, some individuals opt for training courses.

As of now, more and more individuals are opting for media courses. Apart from having numerous course options, individuals can also attain amazing benefits that can help them. To know more, below are some of the following reasons why.

To improve job opportunities

One of the main reasons why individuals opt for media courses is to gain better job opportunities. As of now, there are numerous individuals who are seeking jobs. However, due to the increasing number of applicants, standing out of the competition can be hard. Luckily, one of the best options to increase your job opportunity is to enroll in different types of training programmes like media courses. With such course, individuals can open better job opportunities and positions that can help improve their job search.

To enhance their skills and knowledge

The next reason why individuals opt for media courses is to enhance their skills and knowledge. When enrolling in media courses, individuals can opt for numerous lessons from print journalism, radio and TV journalism, public relations as well as online media. With all these options, individuals can improve their skills which can help them become better employees. Not to mention, some companies are looking for such employees to help them create numerous content that will be published in different platforms.

To make use of different media platforms

As mentioned above, individuals who enrolled in media courses will have the right skills and knowledge. Because of this, doing content for different platforms can be done easily. In addition, having sufficient knowledge about different media platforms will allow individuals to produce their own content and distribute it over social media. Because of this, you can improve your reputation which can increase your profits.

To boost their financial status

Finally, by having better job opportunities and positions, individuals can boost their financial status. Of course, dealing with financial needs can be very stressful. Plus, some job positions do not provide you with sufficient finances that can accommodate your needs. But, by having the right skills, you can find high-paying jobs which can help you make your future better.

These are only some of the reasons why individuals wish to enroll in media courses offered by reliable training providers.

How To Motivate Your Students

When you see a new class of students for the first time, or interact with a group of online students for the very first time, what is your initial feeling about your students? Do you consider the expectations of these students, or are you more focused on helping them become acclimated to the class? What are your hopes for your students? I understand that on the first day of class there is a lot to accomplish from a procedural perspective; however, do you consider the point of view of your students and what they might be thinking as they first interact with you and others in the class?

When I am assigned a new online and it is the first day, even after working in the field of distance learning for over eleven years, I still think about the hopes that students hold for their degree program overall – and how this class is part of their overall plan. I know that each and every one of them have potential to learn, they have a range of experiences to draw upon, and their knowledge about the course topics may also be vastly different among them. As their instructor, I am being inserted into their academic lives, usually without their pre-approval, and I must somehow help all of these students find a way to function well both individually and together. My hope is that all of them will gain something of value from the class, and that they are able to improve upon and/or refine their academic skills. I do not want them to just get by in the class, I want them to discover how well they are capable of performing when encouraged to do so.

What I hope for and what students for may never fully align, especially if they never develop an interest in the class or a connection with me. Students are not obligated to tell me what they hope for or want from this class, rather it is up to me to discover their developmental needs and establish a productive working relationship with them. This is part of the art of teaching and as any educator knows, it takes time and practice. The more you learn how to work with students, the better you become at discovering what brings out the best in them. What I have discovered is that if I want students to excel and perform their best, I need to teach them self-empowerment. This does not minimize my responsibility to them, rather I am helping them learn to be self-reliant and to be able to sustain their ongoing progress from one class to the next.

Students and Self-Empowerment

I am really not a fan of clich├ęs, and I am aware of how the word empowerment and self-empowerment has been over-utilized for quite some time; however, there is merit in the essence of the word when describing a scenario that involves an educator who is teaching students to be self-directed. In higher education, my goal is to have a student-centered classroom environment and that is in direct contrast to primary education where you will find a teacher-centered environment. I do not want to dispense knowledge to students or tell them what they need to learn. I want to find resources that will help them discover knowledge they need and how to develop the academic skills that are required. This can be challenging when you consider the expression that it can be difficult when you “don’t know what you don’t know” – or in other words, students may not know how to assess their skills. However, I never assume that students lack the desire to want to be involved and simply want to be told what to do.

When I am working with students, my goal is not to give them the answers or a grade or correct their papers for them. I want to work with them and provide resources, instill confidence within them that they can learn, increase their sense of motivation, help coach them to move in the right direction even if they make the same mistake more than once, provide meaningful guidance when I return feedback to them, and offer assistance that is actually helpful for them. Self-empowerment can be thought of as having self-reliance, which means that students know where to turn for answers and resources when they have a question or need assistance – and that includes being able to help themselves. It aligns with the principle of andragogy, or teaching self-directed adult learners who are active participants in the process of learning.

Empowerment Instructional Strategies

I have implemented the strategies below to help teach self-empowerment with my students. These methods were effectively utilized in online classes, regardless of the subject matter, and developed as a result of my knowledge of adult education and teaching practice. My goal was to teach students that they could try any of these methods at any time, with or without my assistance, as a means of becoming self-reliant or empowered to improve upon their own performance.

#1. Skillset Inventory: Develop a list of the most important skills that you believe your students should possess at any given time as related to their academic performance. For example, the most common skills could include critical thinking, academic writing, etc. You could provide a rating scale, an actual form, guidelines, or any other parameters. This activity can be implemented as part of a one-on-one activity with your students or given to your students for the purpose of self-reflection.

#2. Midpoint Summary: With online classes, my students tend to be non-traditional, working adults who are reading when they can – and often from their phones when they can access their materials from mobile devices. What this means is that the days of taking notes with a traditional notebook and pen are no longer a reality for most students, and many students do not take notes at all. I have found that a mid-week or midpoint summary is a very good method of testing retention and comprehension. This can help you (if you ask the student to submit it) and the students to determine if they are actually understanding the materials they are studying during the week.

#3. Feedback Follow Up Essay: I understand that developing feedback for a large class takes quite a bit of time, and asking an instructor to spend even more time reviewing follow-up submissions may seem to be too much; however, there is still something to this approach you may want to consider – only because most students will not return the follow up essay. My approach has been as follows: When I have reviewed an average, below average, or poorly written paper, I will return it to the student and ask them if they would like to re-write it and return it to me not for a new grade – but for an opportunity to learn from the feedback provided. I have found that those students who are highly motivated are the ones who will actually take me up on the offer and re-write the essay. To simply teach self-reliance, you could instruct students to re-write the essay without submitting it, incorporating the feedback received, use it as a learning experience.

Those are just three of the strategies I have used to teach self-empowerment. In my classes I also talk about the power of a positive mindset. I provide positive motivational quotes in all of my weekly announcements and I believe that if I can create a nurturing and welcoming environment, one where I am truly working to support and bolster the morale of my students – they are going to feel empowered, motivated, and engaged. As a result, they are going to perform better. Does every student respond to these attempts? Not always. However, my goal is to do everything I can so that I can say I have done at least one thing to have an impact on each and every one of them in some manner while they were in my class – whether it was a matter of being responsive, present, engaged, showing I cared, or providing feedback that matters.