One of the things that I love the most about HGSE is the approachability and genuine friendliness of the faculty. My previous universities were small, which facilitated relationships where I had frequent access to my professors and they knew me well. Before I came to HGSE, I wondered if my experiences would be the same here. Would I be able to get to know my professors? Would they have an interest in me and my goals? Today, these questions were definitely answered.
After a great lecture in A-139: Pursuing Teacher Quality, myself and 2 other students attended lunch with Professor Susan Moore Johnson. Over the course of the semester, Professor Johnson has made time to have either breakfast or lunch meetings with small groups of students just to get to know more about them. During lunch, Professor Johnson asked me questions about my background, and even shared some useful information about a big research paper that I am currently working on. Professor Johnson was also open to questions from me and the two other students in attendance, and it was a really great feeling being able to have a casual conversation with someone who I look up to.
Later on in the day, I attended my small group section for A-107: The Ecology of Education. Professor Sara Lawrence Lightfoot attended the class, and for 90 minutes she sat in our circle and answered questions from the group. She was candid, honest, and shared her thoughts on all sorts of topics ranging from ecological boundary crossings to her personal experiences as a young professor. The time spent with Professor Lawrence Lightfoot was really warm and inspiring.
Days like today are becoming all the more frequent for me. Beyond getting to know professors in the courses that I am taking, I have also found that it is really easy to connect with faculty to learn more about their interests. They are always so willing to help students. HGSE really is a community of learners with faculty members who are accessible and supportive, and that is yet another reason why I am glad to call HGSE home!