Students from several Texas universities gathered Saturday for the “Leading and Learning: Student Educator Forum” at the Perry-Castañeda Library.
The Student Educator Forum was a one-day conference for peer educators, or students who teach other students, to exchange ideas and network with one another. Peer educators from different parts of Texas gave panels and presentations to fellow peer educators.
Keynote speaker Brandon Jones, associate director for student learning and development in University Housing and Dining, was a peer educator when he was in college. Jones said student educators should remember their job’s purpose when in need of encouragement.
“If you know what your ‘why’ is and you understand why you’re here, it gives you something to refer back to often (when you are burnt out),” Jones said.
Jones said student educators should expand their skill set and take advantage of on-campus resources, such as the Sanger Learning Center and study spaces. Jones said without his passion for being a student educator, he would not have been considered for his current position.
“I love helping students find their way, (and) I love helping them turn that light bulb on to discover what their passion and their interests are,” Jones said.
Following the keynote, the conference split into several concurrent seminars and presentations that took place throughout the rest of the day. The presenters included UT students and peer educators, as well as representatives from Texas State, Southwestern University and St. Edward’s.
The forum showcased workshops and presentations that focused on the areas of empathetic leadership, inclusive best practices, time management and increasing student engagement. Representatives from Sanger Learning Center were available for rapid resume reviews.
Biochemistry junior Aaron Dadzie tutors biology and chemistry for multiple organizations on campus.
“I’m just excited for (this forum) because of all the learning opportunities that come with it,” Dadzie said.
Samuel Ng, an economics and Plan II sophomore, said he began working as a private tutor for the Sanger Learning Center recently. Ng said he looked forward to hearing from peer educators who were more experienced than himself prior to the conference.
“I’m open to learning how I can be a more effective tutor, not in terms of content, but in terms of skills and strategies because I have never taught professionally before,” Ng said.