Conservatives Professors and Students
Does modifying our age old traditions of the college life really affect how students respond?
I think we are missing the point here. Most say liberal professors are taking a hold of our younger generation and changing their ideals and altering their perspective in our society. Studies have shown otherwise and how they change their views are based on what they encounter and see during their first few semesters at college (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/06/10/study-finds-students-themselves-not-professors-lead-some-become-more-liberal-college). Then another study shows that Sixty percent of professors in the U.S. today are liberal leaning (http://theconversation.com/does-college-turn-people-into-liberals-90905). Well, the odds seem to be in the favor of liberal leaning to influence today’s young minds. Maybe the influence does not come from the professor him\herself, but the environment or indirect attitude that exudes from the professor’s demeanor, technology astuteness, and schedule.
Most of the students who go off to college are starting to see things for themselves (without the influence of the family or spending more time away from the family core and values)? So, will this trend continue, even if most of the influence is with the environment instead of the teacher?
The current student generation is not really hooked on phonics, but technology, especially when it comes to the digital environment. If conservatives want to gain some ground, they will need to fully embrace the digital world. No more excuses such as, “I lost the email,” “I am too busy to check email,” and “No one can ever have my cell phone number or text me after hours.” These are phrases that turn off the younger generations and they in turn gravitate to others of differing ideologies who do check and received calls after hours without gripping. Notice that most of the tech giants’ leaders have a liberal flavor? Is that a coincidence? Check email and respond quickly, if possible.
Second, we need more conservative professors to embrace a more relaxed classroom atmosphere. The digital environment is less concerned about attire and more concerned about obtaining information fast. Look, working from home is becoming more and more prevalent, so do they dress up when they are home? Plus, we need to understand where the students are coming. Having hard fast rules and no budging turns off the minds of those who like to think more open, less confined. Do we let the students get away with everything, no, but we should be more reasonable on our expectations?
Third, understand the student as a person, and not just a number in a classroom. The current college students are wanting to be noticed and wanting attention. Why are some posting outlandish statements and ideals, it gets them noticed. They want attention. Professors are quite getting busy that they forget who is in the classroom. What do we do? Do we call out their name with a compliment at every scheduled class time? Well, no. What we do is remember their names when we see them outside the classroom, email them about school related activities that pertain to them (are they in sports, drama team, or college organizations, if they have a meeting or meet, see how they did), and if possible, email them a simple email on their birthday. They want to be recognized, and if we make small steps to do such, then they pursue attention gaining behaviors less.
Do not be rigid. Some love the terms doctor and Mr.\Mrs, but for the most part the students want to relate to the professor and not climb a rocky mountain to achieve their quest for a question answered. Also, with office hours, try not to be so strict and if possible, move things around to accommodate.
Will all these ideas turn everything around, no. But does it help, yes.