One semester finished, another approaching!
Here we are at the half -way point for us and for students.
Hopefully you feel relaxed and re-charged from the semester break and want to maximize your energy right now so that it lasts throughout the semester. But before you can move forward, you need to look back. It is hard to find the time to reflect on a semester-gone-by but it is important to do so as you set your goals for the coming semester.
For residence life folks, this a critical exercise. As an RA, knowing where your strengths were and what you could do better can only enhance your RA experience. Taking time to think of each of your residents, what you know about them, their role in your floor/hall community and what you will do to keep those relationships going.
The mid-year spot check is a simple activity and one I truly believe is worth while. Ask yourself the following questions and on a scale of 1 to 10, with ten being “yes” with your performance being the best of your ability, five being average effort and one not performing the task at all.
1. I know a little about every resident on my floor
2. I feel I show the residents I have genuine care/concern for them
3. I treat each resident fairly and consistently
4. I work well with residents
5. I do my job as a resident assistant and still have time to devote to my social life
6. I don’t let my moods affect the way I deal with residents
7. I have a positive attitude about living in the residence halls
8. I am a good information source and if I don’t know the answer I find someone who does for my residents
9. I am able to deal with crisis situations without becoming upset or feeling at loss because I know what to do
10. I am able to say “no” to a resident when I have something legitimately pressing to do and the residents’ issue does not need immediate attention
11. After referring a student or helping them out, I follow-up with the resident to make sure they got what they need and are ok
12. After an incident on my floor, I follow-up with the resident(s) to be sure the residents understands the role I have as their RA to try and ensure no grudge or awkwardness
13. I am not afraid to voice my opinion but understand that it is important to understand the opinions of others even if I disagree
14. I do my job ethically, fulfilling all my duties as expected and following all campus rules/policies
15. I am a good RA
Once you have answered these questions, take a look at everything you scored five or below and set a goal, one thing at least, that can help you improve or change your performance of that task/area over the course of the next semester. One goal, one change leads to one more goal and one more change. And so on and so on.
As a dear friend and colleague states, “be the best you that you can be and be it well”.
Submitted by Jenn Thorpe, Director of Residence Life, Chestnut Hill College