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What instructors wish students knew

As part of the "One Wish" initiative this semester, VCU asked faculty to complete one simple prompt: "I wish my students knew..." A sampling of their responses can be found below:

I wish my students knew...

that everything (links to texts, assignments, and all relevant information) is in the syllabus (I know "it's in the syllabus" is such an obvious comment it's a t-shirt, but it still seems worth mentioning).

that faculty appreciate when you reach out directly. We're happy to clarify, respond to questions, or be a sounding board!

how much we are rooting for them! Faculty, staff, librarians, food service workers -- we see how difficult this pandemic situation is for you, our students, and we want you to be safe, and feel heard and supported. Please reach out to us if you have a question, a problem, a concern, or a suggestion. We are here for YOU!

I wish they knew that they can come to Student Hours just to hang out and listen. I wish they knew I can help with the 'big picture' of how to study, rather than just hand out facts. I wish they knew how much I love seeing their faces on Zoom! :-)

when asking if you can meet with your professor/TA, offer some potential times you are available - it greatly reduces emails back and forth!

how much more time I spend creating content for, uploading, preparing for online classes vs. in-person classes! (I also wish my students knew how much I worry about them/there wellbeing when they disappear/don't have consistent engagement in a course, and don't reply to emails.)

that I miss seeing them in person.

how proud I am of them and their hard work, positive spirits, and care and support of us and each other during this time of isolation and greater public awareness of structural/racial inequities. You have been inspirational to all of us!

that carefully reading the assignment prompts is a good thing. Attention to detail will make them better at everything they will do in life.

spread the work out over a week. Don't wait until the last minute to try to do a week's worth of work. Think of it as a marathon instead of a sprint. If you were training for a marathon, it won't work if you go out the day before and run 100 miles. Instead, you would train a little each day. That is how you should approach your classes.

that professors want them to succeed. Don't be scared or nervous to reach out if you need support!

how much I care about them and how much support we can offer them at VCU, both on campus and virtually.

to please be patient with us if we do not respond to your email immediately; especially if your email was sent over the weekend. We promise we'll get to it :)

how much I admire and respect them for persisting in their studies over the past year.

that trying and being incorrect is different than failing.

that their resilience during this era of covid is inspirational, and that we see and appreciate the multiple responsibilities so many have right now. We believe in you and your current and future success.

that everyone makes mistakes, even us. Mistakes mean that you are trying, they do not mean that you are deficient.

that faculty aren't trying to trick them with complex test questions. Ever. Sometimes questions are challenging because we are testing the depth of their knowledge. The faculty want students to succeed.

to ask for help when they need it!

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