A garden of learning

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This column appeared in the Aug. 30 edition of the Rifle Citizen Telegram.  

By Carole Boughton, CMC vice president and Rifle campus dean

Rain is one of nature’s many miracles that represents, among other things, new beginnings and nourishment for growth.

As an educator, I find the first day of classes to be my second favorite day of the school year, because it also represents the promise of rain. It is truly inspirational and motivational to share the energy and the stories of the returning students we welcome back and the students who are beginning a new opportunity.

Our students come to college with a dream of graduating and going on to serve our community as teachers, nurses, emergency medical technicians, phlebotomists, nurse assistants, business owners, early learning teachers, welders, chefs and a myriad of other professions. Our job is to nurture that growth.

Just as our students aspire to serve our community upon graduation, our students cannot reach their dreams without those in our community who are serving in these respective industries, nourishing the growth of our students by sharing their knowledge and talents.

Sometimes the rain comes in the torrential downpour of information, and students just need a little help seeing through the rain to the sunshine. That help in finding new vision comes in many different forms, including guest speakers and tutors who serve our students.

According to the Center for Postsecondary Readiness and Success, when students learn from someone who is in or connected to the field in which they aspire to enter, students are 62 percent more likely to persist in earning a degree or certificate and 83 percent more likely to retain the information being taught or shared.

Do you have an aptitude or expertise in a particular subject? Would you like to share your talents with a student? Can you see yourself sharing your knowledge and touching the life of a student – leaving a priceless lasting impression? Our students are in need of adjunct faculty and tutors in English, math, Spanish, biology, anatomy and physiology, psychology, history and accounting. You, too, can be part of our students’ lives.

Each student is focused on the same goal, but for very different reasons. Students come to college for a new beginning. The rain and downpour of learning made possible by the many people who nourish our students in the variety of ways (faculty, staff, tutors, mentors and guest speakers) help guide students to their goal.

I started this column by telling you that the first day of classes is my second favorite day of the school year. What is my favorite, you may well ask? It is commencement.

If you join us in growing our garden of students, providing the rains of tutoring or teaching, and the nourishment of their curiosity, you too can revel in these two special days. By being there to provide the rain that feeds their growth, you can share their joy on the days the seed is planted, and on the day students reap the harvest of their hard work.

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