Resident Assistant Instructor Guide

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Resident Assistant Class Instructors Guide

Table of ContentsOverview..3Week 1: Finding Your Why.....6Week 2: Introduction to Pace.......9Week 3: Self Awareness and Time Management..........11Week 4: Know Your Privilege...13Week 5: Mental Health Training...16Week 6: Wrap up...18Personal Shield Handout20Finding Your Why Handout..21Scavenger Hunt Clue Sheet...22Blank Time Table..23Time Management Scenarios.24Cross the Line Prompts..26

General OverviewDuration: Five to seven 1.5-2 hour weekly sessions. Instructors will determine when their section of the class will take place. Journal prompts: 2-3 pages. Grading will be based off of the rubric in the syllabus.Instructors: Professional staff within the Housing and Residential Life Office determined before selection of the Resident Assistants.Session Selection: Once hired and they have accepted, the new RAs will sign up for a section of the RA class based on time slot. Once the section is filled to capacity, the section will be closed. If a student cannot make any of the open sections once a section is closed, they must meet with Vinn Randazzo to discuss options. Learning Outcomes for RA ClassUpon successful completion of the RA Class, students will be able to1. Describe the roles and responsibilities of a Resident Assistant at Pace University.2. Identify resources within Pace University and the community to better serve their residents and peers during presentations and guest speakers throughout the sessions.3. Develop knowledge on diversity, inclusion, and equity and how they play a role in development of community and interpersonal relationships through discussions on systematic oppression and privilege. 4. Display skills to respond and intervene with residents with mental difference in crisis and non-crisis situations through mental health training.5. Demonstrate their leadership philosophy they will use as a Resident Assistant through a final presentation at the end of the course.Theory Support for RA Class[footnoteRef:1] [1: Chickering, A.W., Reisser, L. (1993). Education and Identity (2nd ed.) San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. ]

Overall class structure: This class was developed based off of Chickerings Theory of Identity. All of the course topics aim to cover one or more of the identity development vectors listed in this theory. Most of the weeks will have a component of all seven vectors within the lesson; however they may have more emphasis on one or two vectors. Finding Your Why Vectors covered: developing purpose. Through engaging in discussions and activities, students will be able to articulate their why. This will highlight their purpose for becoming a resident assistant.Introduction to Res Life Vectors covered: developing competence. Students will be given information on resources within residence life, Pace University, and outside community. Self Care/Mentoring Vectors covered: managing emotions, moving through autonomy toward interdependence and developing mature interpersonal relationships. Students will complete reflective activities to detect burnout and high emotional states then develop techniques to relieve them. Know Your Privilege Vectors covered: developing competence establishing identity, developing mature interpersonal relationships, and developing integrity. The activities and discussion were developed based on a combination of Atkinson, Morten, and Sues Racial and Cultural Identity Development[footnoteRef:2] and Kohlbergs Theory of Moral Development[footnoteRef:3]. Atkinson, Morten, and Sue discuss a students progress through their identity development. Though it primarily focuses on racial identity, these stages can be applied to all identities. The stages include conformity, dissonance, resistance and immersion, introspection, and synergistic articulation and awareness. Students who are engaged in the weeks session should be in the introspection or synergistic articulation and awareness stage. Kohlberg discusses the development of a persons form or structure of thought of what is right or moral. This theory includes six stages: Hereronomous morality, individualistic/instrumental morality, interpersonally normative morality, social system morality, human rights/social welfare morality, and morality of universalizable, reversible, and perspective general ethical principles. After participating in discussions, engaged students should be in the social system or human rights/social welfare morality stage (some have the potential to be in the last stage, but this is based on identities and previous experience). [2: Atksinson, D.R., Morten, G., & Sue, D.W. (1998) Counseling American minorities. Boston: McGraw-Hill.] [3: Helms, J.E. (1990). Black and white racial identity: Theory research, and practice. New York: Greenwood Press.]

Mental Health Vectors covered: developing competence, managing emotions, moving through autonomy toward interdependence, developing mature interpersonal relationships, and developing integrity. Students will participate in a brief mental health training including discussions on trends, reviewing statistics nationwide and campus wide, and participating in role playing scenarios. Wrap Up Vectors covered: developing competence. The final week is reserved for any final questions about the course or resident assistant position. Prior to first class: Instructor(s) send an email to their students welcoming them to the RA class. The email should include class time, class location, other students in the class, small introduction of themselves, class syllabus, and prompt for journal due the first class. Students will also make name placards to bring to class. On the placards, students should write their preferred name and decorate it with items or pictures which represent themselves. Instructors should also create a placard.Journal prompt for week 1: Introduce yourself. This week is very open to how you want to introduce yourself. Some questions you can answer to help: What are you passionate about? What is one thing you would like your instructor(s) to know about you? Why do you want to be an RA?

Links for weekly presentationWeek 1 2 3 4 5 6

Week 1: Finding Your WhyLearning OutcomesAfter completion of this session, engaged students will be able to1. Create their why statement after viewing the Ted Talk and participating in the Finding Your Why activity. 2. Differentiate between a good and bad mentorship through the discussion on mentor characteristics.

Technology needs:-Computer-Internet access-Projector

Setting expectations for the class Time needed: 15-20 minutesMaterials needed: -Pieces of paper with different animal names -Butcher paper-one for each group and one for instructor -Markers

Instructor(s) explains the students will draw a piece of paper to split into groups. The students are not to say the name on the paper out loud. Students will draw a piece of paper from instructor with an animal name. Instead, the students will make the animal noise to locate the other members of their group. Hand out the butcher paper and markers to the groups when formed. Once in the group, the students will develop expectations they have of the RA class, other students in the class, themselves, and the instructor(s). Allow the students 5 minutes to develop the expectations. After the groups have developed their expectations, place a blank butcher paper at the front of class. The students will then use the expectations from all groups to develop the class expectations of the RA class, each other, themselves, and instructor(s)* The students and instructor(s) will sign the paper in agreement to pursue these expectations.**

*Instructor(s) have the right to veto any expectations they deem inappropriate or unrealistic (i.e. We expect everyone in the class to be best friends and hang out all the time)**Paper should be present at each RA class

Personal ShieldsMaterials Needed:-One shield worksheet per student (attached in Appendix A)

Students will split the shield into six sections and number each of the sections. The students will fill in the sections with the following items:Section 1: All about you. Name, hometown, major, etcSection 2: Important places. Where do you like to go? Where did you spend your best three days this past year?Section 3: Important dates. What is your favorite date? A date you look the most forward to?Section 4: Important people. Who brings joy to your life? Who has left a positive impact on your life?Section 5: Positive characteristics. What makes you unique? What is one aspect you love about yourself?Section 6: Three items you possess that you cherish.

Discussion questions1. What are your reactions to the makeup of your shield?2. Is there a common theme throughout your sections? Explain?3. What do you think the things you drew on your shield say about the person you are or are trying to be?

Play Simon Sineks Start with Why Ted Talk Discussion Questions: 1. What inspires your why?2. Is your why statement reflected in your life? Where? How?Finding Your WhyMaterials Needed:-Finding your why circle worksheet

Start by having the students reflect on why they applied for the Resident Assistant position and why they do what they do (roughly 2-3 minutes). Then have them write their why in the inner circle. In the middle circle, students will write how they plan to accomplish their why (some examples would be programming, building community, or other RA duties). In the outer circle, students will write what they are doing (this will most likely be the RA position). Encourage the student to place this worksheet in a visible place to be reminded frequently why they are doing this position.

MentoringThe dictionary defines a mentor as an experienced and trusted advisor. Mentoring is an important component of the RA position; whether you are mentoring your residents or each other. Discussion Questions:1. How do you define mentoring?2. What makes a good mentor?3. What makes a bad mentor?4. How will you take those experiences with mentors to develop your own mentoring style?Last 5-10 minutes discuss the journal prompt and clear up any questions.

Journal entry for week 2: What has your experience been during your time at Pace University? Do you know what office you would go to talk about financial issues? Stress? Class schedule issues?

Week 2: Introduction to Pace: Res Life 101Learning OutcomesAt the end of this session, engaged students will be able to1. Locate university and local resources to aid them in successful student interventions after receiving resource handout and participating in the resource scavenger hunt.2. Articulate university and department culture after engaging in discussion on Pace culture.Technology needs:-Computer-Internet access-Projector

DiscussionCulture at Pace University1. Residence lifea. What has been your involvement in Residence Life at Pace so far?b. What are your first impressions?c. What questions do you have of Res Life?2. Studenta. What culture have you noticed or helped develop during your time in Pace?b. What culture might you hope to cultivate during your time as a Resident Assistant?3. From Resident to Resident Assistanta. Discussion point: What do you think the difference will be between being a resident and a Resident Assistant?b. Student first mentality-you are here to be a student, then a student leader. Remember you must maintain 2.75 GPA (semester and cumulative) and remain in good academic standing.c. Finding the balance between being their friend and being friendly.i. Have a discussion with your residents about your rules and expectations-develop expectations with the whole floor during the first floor meetingii. Easier to start off strict and ease up than starting off relaxed and trying to become stricter.d. Living in a fishbowl- you are representing OHRL at all times.e. Know your triggers and what your resources are when you are triggered.

Pace Resource Scavenger Hunt

Time needed: 60 minutes

Materials needed:-Clue Handout-Candy for the winning team

The class will be split into two groups. Students will be given the clue handout where they will figure out resources around the community and Pace University. The groups can earn points for picture creativity and number of resources discovered: two points for each correct resource. When they solve the clue, they will need to find the office and take a picture of the office. At least one group member must be in the picture. Groups can earn one point for each additional group member in the picture. Students must return to the classroom before time expires. Late groups will receive a five point deduction. The pictures should be tweeted with the hashtags listed on the clue handout.

Once the groups are back, pull up Twitter to review the photos and tally up the points. After a winner has been declared, discuss any questions the students may have about the resources.

Last 5-10 minutes discuss the journal prompt and clear up any questions.

Journal prompt for week 3: When someone asks who are you? how do you respond? Name a compassionate way youve supported someone recently. How can you do that for yourself? What is one topic you need to learn more about to help you live a more fulfilling life?

Week 3: Self AwarenessLearning OutcomesAt the end of the session, engaged students will be able to1. Differentiate between academic, social, and job responsibilities and rank them accordingly in priority after completing the time management table exercise.2. Recognize their personal self, values, and beliefs through a reflection on the journal entry and self awareness discussion.3. Identify strategies to recognize and stop burnout during the discussion of self care as a Resident Assistant.

Technology needs:-Computer-Internet access-Projector

Speed InterviewingTime needed: 20-30 minutesDivide the students into two even groups. The students will then form two lines, facing each other. Students will have 30 seconds each to tell the other who they are and other information they wish to share. In their last pairs, the students will introduce their partner and one interesting fact about their partner. Time Management[footnoteRef:4] [4: Adapted from the Office of Housing, Residential Living, and Dining Community Assistant Seminar at Indiana University of Pennsylvania]

Students will receive a blank time table which they will fill out with various time commitments.Time commitments to add:1. Physiological needs-sleeping, eating, etc 2. Academic commitm...