By Brenna Eller
As Hutchinson Community College is a junior college, the students and instructors have more one-on-one interaction than that of a four-year school, where the professor might not even know the names of his or her students.
That being said, broader communication is often expected of a teacher from the students.
Also, just getting out of high school, where teachers cared whether or not you pass because it is a reflection on them as a teacher, versus coming here to find out that being an adult, the instructors aren’t there to make sure you do everything right and get homework in on time. That is mainly up to the students and their responsibility to balance their lives accordingly to their academics.
Some students believe that instructors communicate a fair amount, while others view the communication is lacking.
HutchCC freshman Autumn Frickey, Lindsborg, gave her views on teacher-student communication.
“Honestly, the instructors I’ve had don’t communicate as I thought they would, and it’s just easier to ask friends or people in class for help,” Frickey said.
Frickey makes the argument that instructors should check their email more often and that checking emails is the overall issue for articulation with instructors.
When asked what her preferred method of communication, Frickey said, “I would talk to my teachers face-to-face, but normally they have to rush to their next class to get ready, so email is better.”
Since communication is generally a two-way deal, and not all of the responsibility is on the instructor, Frickey said, “Some students should ask questions earlier, but I feel as if it is both the student and the teacher’s fault. However, the school isn’t that big and I feel like they should be more one-on-one with the students.”
Sociology instructor Kim Newberry, who has worked at the college for more than a decade, shared her thoughts on communication between her students, and agrees that it is lacking not only between students, but everywhere.
“I have students that will email a question when they are sitting in my class and could ask right then,” Newberry said.
Sometimes classes can fluctuate when it comes to being social and in Newberry’s case, she recognizes that one class of hers is very quiet where no one hardly talks while other classes seem to carry conversations just fine.
Newberry said the reason for the inadequacy which she believes is that students would rather be on their phones or listening to music.
The most appropriate form of communication to Newberry would be to speak to one another in person. “Email is great for quick communication, but face-to-face is always bet for anything serious,” Newberry said.
When asked how this issue could be resolved, Newberry said, “If a student has an issue, he or she needs to learn how to communicate, most of us only want our students to succeed, and we cannot help if we do not know that there is a problem.”
Also when it comes to discussion between students and instructors, Newberry said that seeing each other in person should be the norm for all relationships.
“So many nuances of communication can be lost in an email or a text,” Newberry said.
Amber Brawner, coordinator/instructor of the visual media design program who has been at HutchCC for about 12 and a half years, shared her expectations of communication from her students lately.
“Communication is definitely a two-way street,” Brawner said. “It’s frustrating when students just walk out of the class without saying a word because oftentimes they miss material that is on a test or instructions for an assignment, and then wonder why they get the grade that they got.”
She also said that it is irritating when that same student doesn’t talk to her about their grade and how to get extra credit.