The “Student” Component of #SAPro Social Media

For the past few weeks I’ve been watching my TweetDeck closely. I wanted to see what was being put out there in my Tweet-O-Sphere and why. There was no formal survey or assessment other than my personal observations.

In my observations, my TweetDeck is a normal hodgepodge of information from promoting blogs (guilty!) to articles to general wonderments about student affairs and life. Some Food Network Celebrities and musical artists I follow are always entertaining. But one thing I notice is that in some of my professional hashtags we seem to be losing the “student” aspects of our professional lives.

Now maybe I write this on the tail end of my previous blog post about being genuine and honest, because it’s on my mind, however, as I read some of my hashtags I follow, I can’t help but feel that we are so busy trying to put out a new thought, idea or play devil’s advocate on a topics for our field and professional image that we never share information about the core of our field…our students. We don’t share with each other our own encounters with the students.

It’s human nature (and #SAPro habit) to focus on the problem and to fix it; to provide information, ideas, best practices and theories to get the solution. However, we never hear the end result. Our Twitter feeds are riddled with information on how to address conflict management, crisis situations, professional practices, enhancing our competencies etc. But we never get to hear about what is going on with our actual interactions with them.  We never hear about the day to day lives of each others students and how we are interacting with them.

Now, yes there are privacy laws and professional standards in respect and confidentiality, however that doesn’t mean we should forget that our core is the student; and not sharing our experiences with the students, to me, is a fatal flaw. We should be hearing BOTH the failures and successes of our students and our parts in those situations in order to help each other with our own contingent of students. We all have the same “types” of students, financially strapped, family concerns, identity exploration, academic problems, etc. and hearing how each other interacts, works and advises them is invaluable. Hearing what worked and what didn’t work can help guide each other in our programs, trainings and general interactions with our students and ultimately providing the holistic, supported and experiential experience that we are all striving to provide.

We talk and share our students’ stories and our experiences with them once or twice a year at our annual regional conferences, but what about the other 345 days a year?

Food for thought.

Until next time

Peace, Love and Pandas!

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About bdproffer

I am currently the Assistant Manager for the University Activities Board at Michigan State University. After earning my B.A. from the University of Michigan-Flint, I entered the Student Affairs profession. After a few years in the field, I returned to school and earned my M.A. in Educational Leadership-Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University. In my spare time I blog about my thoughts and musings on current issues in higher education, student affairs, web 2.0, LGBT issues and general life inspirations and observations. I also volunteer for Kappa Sigma Fraternity.
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