Student Support Vs. Student Development


Having been in the new role here at the SLT department for over a month now I am slowly finding the balance between the two most important features of the position; providing daily support and providing development opportunities.

When you are running a development session (workshop) there is going to be some individual support and vice versa when providing daily support (one on one) you can create individual development opportunities. There still needs to be a balance in offering each outlet so the students can choose their preferred delivery.
As a teacher I enjoy offering both of these of these outlets, but still have my favourite. It is obvious that a balance must take place but like anything in life, plans can change.

I have recently taken on an increased amount of Student Support sessions due to a staff member transfer. Their students have now become my students. I welcomed the extra daily interactions with students and looked forward to it, however, the department in which the staff member recently vacated becomes extremely busy at this time of year. My time has been shifted towards covering this position more than my original position and my plans of finding a balance between Student Support and Student Development is not possibly at this time. I am very lucky to be in a department with other great professionals that during this time are offering many development sessions based on their professional skills and knowledge. At this point I realize I should plug our departments workshops for any students that might read this. So CLICK HERE!

While providing quick fixes to questions about understanding feels rewarding and creating an follow up meeting with that student at a later date gives us a sense of reassurance we need to remember our larger goal. We are here as educators and need to push development over continuous quick fix Band-Aid approaches. In addition, we are here as educators not just as individual teachers. Don’t forget to use the knowledge and strengths of the others around you.
To summarize my thoughts, the classic expression of teaching to fish came to mind. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a life time.