Twice yesterday, students came into my office to formally thank me for the help I gave them during 1:1 research appointments. Topics they were searching for, "traumatic brain injury" AND football; sociological impact of cross-cultural marriage; required locating resources they could understand, access and investigate thoroughly in order to write a 5-10 page research paper. Few of the students at Reedley College make appointments ahead of time, they come in usually when they are in a panic. This was the case with these two students; and because I had not prepared for them ahead of time, I continued to search long after they were gone off to class. Subsequently, I emailed them later with the results of my searches, providing keywords to search, and locating materials avaialbe on our shelves. I want the students to know that their work is meaningful to me and their taking the time to ask for help will garner them more help.
It really made my day for them to make the effort to stop in and offer their thanks and express how our sessions made a difference in their work. Both received high scores and felt that they were going to finish the courses with excellent grades. This is music to a teacher's ear; to know that the time spent helped a student to learn research techniques, ask thought-provoking questions, and enjoy the process of discovery.