November 10, 2020
Volume 5, Number 7
The Staff Are Not OK
Look, I get it, no one is OK right now under these pandemic conditions: Everyone in academe is struggling to varying degrees with social isolation, child care, elder care, virtual learning, our own mental health, our own physical health. But while the struggles of faculty members and administrators have been well-documented, there hasn’t been much attention paid to the health and well-being of the big pool of campus employees who together make up “the staff.”

By staff — and I am in that group — I mean anyone working on campus who isn’t a faculty member or an administrator. You know, the people who were expected to carry out whatever plans were made for the fall semester. And the people who have had to deal with the aftermath when things abruptly changed.

Last May, I was the host of an Educause webinar, aimed mainly at academic-technology staff and instructional designers, on all the “affective labor” they were suddenly having to do amid Covid-19 — that is, all of the emotional support that became part of their job, in addition to helping everyone with the technology of remote teaching.

The response was overwhelming. Staff members in the webinar said they were relieved to finally have the language to describe what it was they had been experiencing — why their work was exponentially so much harder than before the pandemic. They were clamoring to share their stories and experiences of having to manage their own emotions in the face of stressed/upset/angry/frustrated/fed up professors, students, parents, and administrators.

Staff are the middle-management of higher education. Those in power make decisions, set policy, and devise plans — and we are the people tasked with implementation and execution. We are the face that faculty members see when they have questions, concerns, or struggles with the technology they have been asked to use. We are the face that students see when they have questions, concerns, or struggles related to distance learning or on-campus policies and procedures. We are the face that parents see when they reach out to us — these days often in distress.

Most people we interact with understand that we are all in a pandemic, all struggling. But staff members, nonetheless, have to maintain a facade of calm, confidence, grace, and patience. We can’t appear to be trying to keep it together; we have to look like we already do.

To continue reading this story, please click the link.

– by Lee Skallerup Bessette, Learning Design Specialist at Georgetown University
FLU SHOTS: GET THEM WHEN YOU CAN, WHERE YOU CAN
The seasonal influenza vaccine is available to all MSU students and employees at the Counseling and Health Services Clinic, located at 112 Allie Young Hall. Getting the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available each year is always a good idea as the protection will last throughout the flu season. If you have insurance, you must bring your insurance card at the time of service. Most insurance plans will require no copay to get the flu vaccine. If you do not have insurance, a self-pay option is available upon request. Call Counseling and Health Services at 606-783-2055 to make an appointment
Call For Sharers
Hello MSU Educators,

The FCTL is asking you to share what you are doing in your classes. We would like to put together a webinar/presentation of your efforts so others can benefit from what you are doing. The goal is to share the good work we are doing and build a repository of teaching and learning strategies, techniques, tools and approaches that will benefit our students and us in improving our teaching and learning.

Here are a couple of formats to consider:
Eagle Insight: 20 minute presentation/sharing with 10 minutes for Q&A
Eagle Aerie: 45 minute presentation/sharing with 15 minutes for Q&A

We are looking for sharing to support:
  • Course Design and strategies
  • Instructional Strategies
  • Accessibility
  • Course Materials
  • Course Interactions
  • Assessments
  • Technology

Your sharing can be for face-to-face, hybrid and/or online delivery.

We are not looking for perfection, we are looking to share, celebrate, and build awareness and community around teaching and learning.

If you would like to share, send an email to fctl@moreheadstate.edu and identify the area your sharing will connect, the modality, and we will go from there.

Looking forward to hearing from you dynamic Eagle Educators!
What I Love About Teaching
Response from Angela Rowe:
I agree with the statement that it is important for staff to have connection with students and others across campus. I think helps build up the moral, forms a positive sense of community, and offers opportunity to lead for those who want to do so. I would love to see more opportunities for everyone to use their own personal strengths, talents, and interest in more constructive, creative ways. Teaching is a unique opportunity to really come to know, appreciate, help, and grow with others.

Angela Rowe - Educational Program Coordinator/Manager
Response from Lucy Mays:
I love to see growth in students from the learning fundamental concepts of nursing to putting it all together and developing clinical reasoning skills. I love to see the lightbulb come on when things click into place. I also love that preparing Registered Nurses and Advanced Practice Nurses for the workforce, which helps to improve healthcare outcomes in the service region. I have been more than proud for my graduates to care for my family and myself.

– Lucy Mays - Professor Nursing/Online Nursing Programs Coordinator

We need your response so click here to share.
Blackboard Buzz
Assignments Overview (Student)
Do you know how your students are doing homework in Blackboard? Do you have students who are struggling on assignment submit? Blackboard Inc. has a tutorial video on how to use Assignment feature in Blackboard.

This (YouTube) is the video in question. You can see for yourself to see how the system works in students’ end or just send it to your students who need it.

Email msuonline@moreheadstate.edu for additional information and on-campus support.
Ambassadors for Excellence in Teaching
Morehead State University