We Belong…at this afternoon’s CTL workshop on belonging!

In 1984, Pat Benatar released the now-classic song “We Belong,” singing:

“We belong to the light, we belong to the thunder
We belong to the sound of the words we’ve both fallen under
Whatever we deny or embrace for worse or for better
We belong, we belong, we belong together”

Well, here at Normandale, we, too, are working to create a sense of belonging–among students, faculty and staff; in the classroom and in communal spaces; in the books that we read and the programs that we schedule; and even in the very buildings on campus.

To help us better understand what belonging is and why it is so important to student success, Dr. Chris Jazwinski and Dr. Amanda R. Hemmesch from the Department of Psychology at St. Cloud State University will present “Mindsets, Belonging, Student Resilience, and Success” this afternoon (Monday, October 29) from 3-4 pm in A2552.

In this presentation, Drs. Jazwinski and Hemmesch will discuss key concepts related to student competence and achievement, including mindset, belonging, and belonging uncertainty.

They will focus on scholarship on belonging, defined as the perceived quality of fit between oneself and a setting, particularly how it applies to academics.

We hope to see you all there!

On the subject of belonging, The Chronicle of Higher Education recently featured an article about how the moments before class starts can be incredibly valuable in creating a positive classroom atmosphere and fostering a sense of connection between students and faculty–something that is vital to students feeling like they belong in college.

In this article, James P. Lang writes, “The more time I spend with students in that brief space before the start of class, the more I recognize that those warm-up minutes actually represent a fertile opportunity. I can use the time to enhance the learning that will take place in the hour that follows, to build a more positive atmosphere for class discussion, or simply to get to know my students a little better.”

Later, he goes on to say, “Students cited the relationships they formed as the most important and memorable aspect of college. Those relationships began with fellow students, but also included connections with faculty and staff members. The number and intensity of those relationships not only predicted students’ general satisfaction with college, but had the power to motivate them to deeper, more committed learning in their courses.”

Take a look at the three strategies that Lang offers, and try them out in your own classes!

Also–a quick reminder that there will be no drop-in D2L hours this afternoon.

And last but not least, here is Pat Benatar herself to energize the rest of your Monday aftenroon:

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