by Hilary Lynch

Besides teaching course subjects, professors also manage the relational climate in their classrooms. One session at the Lilly Conference in January 2018 emphasized how professors can better manage these relationships, especially when stress creeps into the classroom. Dr. Pamela Szycygiel, Assistant Professor of Social Work at UNC Pembroke, shared how relationships are main catalysts for change, and our academic environments “have a lot of relating going on.” People learn, grow, and change in the “context of interpersonal and person-to-environment exchanges.” We will work with students who have had negative and unrepaired relationships with authority figures. Some students need to “work on new relationships” and have new positive experiences with those in supervisory roles. As we teach academic subjects, we can also teach students how to repair working relationships when tensions and anxieties surface.

read more