November 17, 2011
The piercing of an alarm clock on Monday morning at 6:00 a.m. didn't signal a run-of-the-mill morning for Bow Valley College President and CEO, Sharon Carry. Instead of getting up and donning her usual work attire, she got up and put on jeans, a hoodie, and sneakers and loaded her backpack.
She didn't have much time for breakfast and that suited her fine because she was feeling a little apprehensive. After all, she hadn't been a student for quite some time, and she had a busy day in front of her as a College student.
Her somewhat daunting timetable for the day read like a microcosm of the College's calendar: basic literacy, intermediate accounting, mathematics, event marketing, and early learning and child care.
Sharon meets with her group in event marketing class.
The inspiration for Student for a Day had started with Sharon's desire to see the College through the eyes of a student, an experience she knew would give her a different perspective on College life.
Mingling with students and hearing their stories would help her better understand the motivations and aspirations of the student body. And what a refreshing change from her usual duties!
Although she did manage to get lost a couple of times, Sharon thoroughly enjoyed her student for a Day adventure (indeed, she hopes to be able to do it again next year), but what really delighted her were the common themes that emerged over the course of the day.
First of all, every instructor used technology fluently and creatively. In the literacy class, for example, the instructor had put together a wonderful video of the students that they were using to practice their reading skills.
The College's ESL Basic Literacy class welcomed their new classmate with open arms.
Second, the class atmosphere, without exception, was warm and welcoming. In the accounting class, a latecomer who didn't know Sharon's true identity, pulled a desk up next to her and said, "Hello, you must be a new student. Want to share my textbook?"
Third, the classes sparkled with energy — both the highly engaged instructors and students seemed genuinely excited about co-creating a culture of learning.
Sharon returned to her office at the end of the day inspired by her journey and immensely proud to be part of the Bow Valley College community.
Written by Margaret Chandler