It is not just our new students who require a thorough orientation to life at Tabor; our newest faculty are first through the process. They are, after all, now among the keepers of the Tabor flame, those we rely on to make the Tabor experience second to none!
It is a great deal of work to learn all about what is expected, to learn names, to learn places, and really all about our special way of educating students. At Tabor, we pride ourselves on a strong community where each of us works together for the benefit of all our students. This is an “all in” sort of place, relying on each person here to live up to our core values of personal responsibility, high standards of achievement, a lifelong love of learning, and above all, fostering care for others and committed citizenship. If the adults don’t get that, the students never will. So, really, the stakes are pretty high.
With so much to learn, our new faculty are spending this week in orientation. They will enjoy some fun meals together and a tour of the area, but most of their time will be spent in concentrated work. They will listen to virtually every office that deals with students in any way about their goals and procedures, they will review their obligations listed in our handbooks, they will learn about our technology resources and how to use our learning platform, myTA. That is the easy stuff. Then they will learn about grading policies, how often and how well comments are expected to be written. They will learn about our inclusion efforts and what we have learned from our experiences so far and where we are striving to go. They will learn about our traditions with international students and the exchange and service trips we offer, and how we keep students safe when they are away from campus. Athletics traditions and the way we hope our coaching staff will motivate student-athletes toward stellar performance and even better behavior will be a popular topic.
They will also be encouraged to put their professional growth at the top of their list. Lifelong learners need inspiration, after all, and this is a skill to be developed as well as one to model. Safety, too, is tops; so, they will learn about our residential life rules, how, where, and why we engage with our students and also be reminded about the importance of setting and honoring boundaries. Some role-playing with the Dean’s Office is always a highlight, and also very helpful in remembering how to enforce our rules.
There will be time set aside to learn how and where to get help. New faculty are all assigned a mentor to help them with questions, but they also need to know how to direct students toward appropriate help whether that is through counseling or health services or through the advisor system or through the very qualified teachers who run our ASSIST Center.
It takes a lot to learn how to bring the best Tabor has to offer to our students and colleagues, and even more to deliver! We have a saying here….“It’s a great day to be a Seawolf!” When each of us believes in that saying, students, faculty, and staff, there isn’t much we can’t do together.
Good luck to all the new faculty and welcome to Seawolf Nation!