I F$#%*!@ don’t want your help!

Oh the student interactions we all must patiently work through! The above title is an actual email response from one of our students  when invited to participate in the Early Alert Pilot program. As if the email, in all its colorful intensity, did not express the student’s  feelings well enough he decided to come by personally.   At the time it would have been so easy, and certainly justifiable to send this student on his Public Safety escorted way.  As a spoiler, this did not happen.

In the community college each of us are called to educate, to bring growth,  and to transform our students whenever we can.  It is with those ideas in mind that we are an institution of many chances.  It wasn’t known if is behavior might be because he was  a first generation student, or for that matter, had any one or multiple combinations of a possible issues, because it really didn’t matter.  Since what was known for certain is that he’s our student (GCC’s) and in need of our guidance to succeed.  Yes, his words (in writing and spoken) were offensive but putting the reasons aside here was that moment to make an educational difference.   One which could help a student change,  grow, and move towards transformation. Student Success is impeded by a variety of elements but one of those elements should never be those of us who are suppose to guide.

After steering the student into a civil conversation it was determined that not only did he need the program, he also needed a lot of assistance simply understanding college concepts. Since the initial contact he’s been met with several times and although he still struggles,  a relationship and the conversations are continuing.  Our students need a place to mess-up, to find direction, to have those hard conversations, and to build healthy relationships.  I’m proud to be apart of a team, and a institution that strives to create such a place.  Go Gauchos!!


4 thoughts on “I F$#%*!@ don’t want your help!”

  1. Thank you for sharing this interaction. It can be tough to overcome antagonistic words and attitudes, but this is a wonderful reminder that that antagonism can come from a place of great need.

  2. Great article, thank you for sharing! When I worked with “at-risk” junior high and high school students, it seemed the ones most adamant they did not need help actually needed it more than their peers.

  3. I know this student! And isn’t it the way it is…these are the students I hate to see go at the end of the semester…because these are the students that remind me why I do what I do! This time of the semester, I just need a little reminder…thanks Mari!

    1. Thank you each for the kind words and insights. This challenge has been so refreshing and I’m glad we’re doing it. I for one am learning a lot!


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