What Inspires Me – October 25, 2016

I teach Technical Communications, aka, business writing and presentations to a group of engineering students a few times a week.

What inspires me this week would be one of my students.  We met last week to discuss one of his daily grades.  He hadn’t read the assignment thoroughly, and had made a lower grade than he liked on the assignment.

Evidently, our conversation inspired him to redo a previous assignment – a major assignment that had been turned in a couple weeks earlier.  I hadn’t had the chance to grade the finals for this major assignment.  They had been sitting in one of the online computer folders, waiting for me.  He turned in an additional copy of the major assignment.  Then he came to me yesterday afternoon before class and explained why.

I tell my students that my focus is to train them to present themselves in the best light possible.  Know your audience.  In order to present yourself in the best light possible in the business world, you must write correctly – spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting all have to be impeccable.  Our world is incredibly competitive.  You must rise to the competition and meet it, before you can surpass it.

My student asked that I accept his reworked assignment, instead of his earlier version.  He made a good case for it.  I felt as if an employee had taken aside the boss and told her that the report had been sitting on the boss’s desk for the last few weeks, and would she like a more well-researched and updated copy.  He persuaded me.

This very same student also told me about the new project he was working on for the class.  He had taken the initiative to interview 100 students over the course of the weekend.  This is what a manager likes to see –  I told him that.

When my students reach beyond the limits of the assignment, when they truly learn – in those moments, I know that I am in the right profession, and I am so grateful.  They inspire me to be better, and to encourage them to be the best they can be.