Helping Advisees to Overcome Their Anxiety

icon of Helping Advisees to Overcome Their AnxietyAmong the various challenges faced by freshmen, not knowing how to communicate with professors is a common phenomenon which might affect their interaction with teachers and overall learning. Through Faculty Student Advisers, AAO collected various doubts and worries of students which helped us understand their reluctance to interact with their adviser:

I am worried ... How should I greet my Professor ? What should I do ... My Professor did not reply to my email, how long should I wait?

To highlight the importance of this issue, AAO conducted a “Freshmen 101” workshop which focused on effective communication with professors. Through role-plays and discussion with our professor speakers, students gained a better understanding of what teachers expected from them on various occasions (for example, in class, email, meeting outside class time) and the proper ways of approaching their professors. More importantly, the workshop highlighted the significance of effective interaction in nurturing a fruitful teacher-student relationship where learning takes place. In the process, FAAs could also play a part by being friendly, patient and responsive to questions from advisees and guiding them to build a trusting relationship with their advisers.

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Further resources:

  • Sue Ohrablo: “Advising is More Than a Yes/No Business: How to Establish Rapport and Trust with Your Students
  • Jessica Bigger: “Advising First-year Students” (Particularly the part on ‘Implications for Academic Advising’)
  • Margaret Walsh: “How to Make the Most of Your Office Hours” (Particularly the part on ‘Seven Ways to Interact with Students During Office Hours’)