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The Power of Encouragement

College can be a stressful and overwhelming time for many students. Especially post #covid19. As educators, we have the power to alleviate some of that stress by providing encouragement and support.

Encouragement can take many forms, such as:


  1. Praising a student's effort, even if they don't achieve the desired outcome.
  2. Offering constructive feedback in a positive manner.
  3. Recognizing and celebrating student achievements.
  4. Providing guidance and mentorship.


When students feel supported and encouraged, they are more likely to persist through challenges and stay motivated to achieve their goals.

Before starting a new semester or academic year, it is a great idea to take some time and think about your classroom rules and policies. Consider what matters most to you regarding the academic experience for you and your students, then, write down your policies based on that. Here's an example:

In the post-covid era many students have struggled with attendance in in-person classrooms. In fact, it has become a significant issue. According to the New York Times, more than 40 percent of students have been chronically absent since the #pandemic. Since attendance is an important part of students engaging, learning, and demonstrating their skills toward what they've learned, it is often challenging to determine how to address these concerns.

So, how do we address this matter? Here are a few tips on strategies that may help.


  1. Develop a communication plan: Establish a clear and consistent communication plan to keep students informed about changes in course delivery, attendance policies, and support services. The plan should include email updates, social media posts, and announcements on the learning management system (LMS).
  2. Utilize technology: Utilize technology to provide online classes, discussion forums, and office hours to encourage student engagement. This can also help students who are unable to attend in-person classes due to health or travel restrictions.
  3. Provide additional academic support: Offer additional academic support such as tutoring, mentoring, and study groups to help students stay on track and catch up on missed work.
  4. Encourage peer-to-peer support: Encourage students to form study groups or virtual communities to support one another and share resources.
  5. Flexibility in attendance policies: Consider flexibility in attendance policies to accommodate students who may have to miss classes due to COVID-19 related issues. This could include allowing students to attend classes remotely or providing additional makeup opportunities.
  6. Encourage self-care: Encourage students to prioritize self-care and mental health. Provide resources and support for mental health and wellness to help students cope with the challenges of the pandemic.
  7. Foster a sense of community: Foster a sense of community by creating opportunities for students to connect with one another and with faculty. This can include virtual events, clubs, and other extracurricular activities.


Here's what helped me

Last semester there were always a few students who would be absent from class. I utilized technology such as zoom and google meets, to connect my students during their absence. This way, whether they were on the go or still in bed, they could have access to the classroom lecture, live.

Now, as educators, we don't want to get in the habit of doing this. However, it is important to be real with ourselves and know that our students will be absent. It's inevitable for them not to be. However, we must emphasize the importance of them being responsible for their coursework, lecture notes, and overall experience, so that they can get the most out of our classroom and curriculum.

So, again, the power of encouragement can take us a long way. It establishes boundaries, but also bridges connections between us and our students. It can also be the tiny bit of motivation they need to keep aiming forward.

Connect with me on LinkedIn to learn more about the tips and personal experiences that can help you as a rockstar educator.

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