Many professors say that teaching students how to email them properly is a necessary gift that keeps on giving: Inside Higher Education

all classes. so called soft skills, when you boil it all down, are less about “rules” and far more about a habit of mind — it’s about thinking of others as much as we think of ourselves. if you go through the class documents and underline every single rule and reminder involving thinking of others, i suspect you would have much of what i have written underlined. second important facet of these skills is that they must become a natural part of who you are — i.e., they cannot be faked or manufactured. so, it takes time to practice. the problem with rules and “how-to” lists is that, by my observation, they tend to induce anxiety, and when given to one another without deeper contexts, they are difficult to remember and to be made personally meaningful. this is why we will spend so much of the semester sharing with one another examples, experiences, stories. finally, an important point about these skills — they are universal, without regard for age and station in life. so yes, Inside Higher Ed is a publication for professors, and yes, how to write a proper professional letter is an important skill for students to learn. but as many of you have already discovered, no matter how busy i am, whenever i reply to students, i always try to write a proper, professional letter. partly because of the universality of these ideals, and partly as another way to teach and model them. the best part about college is that you are all old enough to handle complex, difficult ideas, yet by definition these are still forgiving years — room to make mistakes, learn, and improve. another reason to move away from the rules/how to model. Professor Liang

Many professors say that teaching students how to email them properly is a necessary gift that keeps on giving

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/08/29/professors-offer-advice-teaching-students-how-email-them

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