I currently serve as the American College Personnel Association’s (ACPA’s) Coordinator for Standing Committees. Standing Committees are organizations in ACPA that represent some of the social identities present in the student affairs profession and in our work with students. In my role, I represent, coordinate the work of, and advocate for the Standing Committees for/on Women, Men, Graduate Students and New Professionals, Disability, Multicultural Affairs, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Awareness.
Although our mission is clear, the name “Standing Committee,” is often a source of confusion for new (and even experienced) members. I often get asked:
- Why are they called “Standing Committees?”
- What are the “standing committees” of?
Here’s the answer…
I had the privilege of doing a teaching observation of a colleague this semester. I always love the opportunity to learn from other’s approaches to the learning process. I thought I would share some of my reflections and observations hoping it may help you too.
The instructor and I both share an approach to teaching where we attempt to reduce the barriers of authority in the teacher-student relationship. This instructor always greets her students at the start of class with a hearty “Good Evening Scholars!” Her stated reason for doing this is to establish mutual authority in approaching the subject matter and to begin the socialization of the students as scholars. It’s a wonderfully simple way of setting the stage for the classroom and for communicating a co-constructed student-teacher relationship. It’s one that I will likely “borrow” for the future.
For me, teaching is a calling. From my earliest childhood memories, I remember loving to play “school.” This love of the entire process of learning has followed me throughout the changes in my career path. In any role, regardless of whether I am acting in the formal roles of “instructor” or “student,” I seek to learn and to teach.
Student affairs and higher education is my chosen career path. In my faculty and professional roles, I consider mentoring, supervising and teaching the next generation of thought and practice leaders to be a wonderful privilege. Giving back to the profession I love and believe in is one of the primary motivators behind my teaching. By teaching the teachers, I know that my work can have an impact on college students far beyond those with whom I have immediate contact.