In June, NPRC English Instructor, Ben Blood, traveled to New Orleans to present at the national 2021 Teaching Professor Conference. His presentation, “Non-Academic Instruction and First-Year Student Success” focused on how to teach skills for balancing life in and out of the classroom. Ben shared how NPRC’s supplemental reading and writing instruction best serves students who place into first-year English writing courses with support instruction. NPRC’s approach helps students save time and money by pairing developmental support with required writing courses. Following his time at the conference, he was featured as a guest on Magna Publication’s Faculty Focus Podcast.
In this podcast episode, Ben shares that as he began teaching college classes, he discovered that teaching students how to write was easy. Ben found that students’ struggles were typically rooted in poor attendance, failure to complete assignments, and challenges breaking large assignments down into manageable tasks. Ben inventoried these non-academic pain points he was seeing from his students and developed five topics that he began focusing on in his support courses. These topics include metacognition, time management, self-discipline, help-seeking, and resilience and perseverance.
Ben strives to help his students find their ‘why’, develop a growth mindset, and become self-regulated learners. For students to get there, the first step is conscious awareness. Without this, students end up “winging it” and hoping for the best. For this reason, he identifies metacognition, or the awareness of mental processes, as the bridge to student success.
Ben says, “College is hard, and you’re going to fail. But if you fail, it’s not a signal. It’s not a sign that you should quit. It’s not a flare being shot up to tell you you’re not worthy of college. Instead, we need to use our failures as an opportunity for growth.” Join him and Tierney King, host of the Faculty Focus Live podcast, as they dive into first-year student success in Episode 13: Metacognition – The Bridge to Student Success.