Monday, September 23, 2013

They say Resident Assistants make the best teachers...

Bender Hall Staff 2013-2014
...and I think they might be right. This is my second year as a Resident Assistant at the University of Northern Iowa. Being an RA has been quite an experience. I'm an RA in one of the more social residence halls on campus and I was nervous about it, because I heard rumors about how there is a lot of partying that goes on here. When I started the job, I was pretty scared. A year in, I absolutely love it. LOVE. IT. I kept telling myself I got placed in my Residence Hall because I was the pick of the litter, the cream of the crop, the best of the best.

Even though that might not necessarily be true, it was a good attitude to have going into the job. I'm a firm believer that teachers who were RA's during their undergrad years in college have a very unique set of skills (I hope if you're reading this you got my Taken reference there... shout out to Liam Neeson). Anyway, being an RA has really helped me develop my leadership skills; being a leader is literally going to be my career! I'm going to lead my students to acquire a second language.

Galatia House 2013-2014
As an RA I've used technology to connect to my residents. My house has a Facebook group that any resident can post on; I use it to advertise programs and house dinners as well as ask questions to take surveys and research what my residents need from me. Recently I've started using Google Forms to deliver surveys to my residents; it's so much more efficient than going door to door and asking all of my girls. I have a Pinterest board that I use to keep track of ideas I can use for programming and bulletin boards; I also have one that has all of the pins that I've completed so I can share my ideas with others Resident Assistants.

Being an RA has also helped my organizational and time management skills. It's helped my programming and planning skills. It's helped my interpersonal and teamwork skills. It's honestly the best job I could have ever asked for; I'm so lucky. How have your past work experiences shaped the kind of teacher you are, or will be in the future?


  1. Nice post, Emma. I learned a great deal about you. Looks like you are using Pinterest and other social media in a positive manner. I look forward to seeing how you are linking this to experiences you have found on other blogs and websites.


  2. Sounds funny, and I would have never thought it, but my long experience in a grocery store has helped me quite a bit in education. And not just by being able to count change in math class! Customer service was always stressed and it came along with me. My students were always customers of a sort, as were their families. That attitude has followed me as I work more with teachers. They aren't necessarily coming to us by choice - they just end up in our class, but we are providing service to them. Now, I take the attitude that I'm not serving the students directly, but I still want to serve someone who is well!