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Lessons Learned is designed for use in training programs for newly hired resident advisors or assistants (RAs). Its uncomplicated format allows users to select from among several dozen issues of importance to a particular campus. This volume is the ideal tool for residence life professionals who are responsible for training college Resident Assistants. Over three dozen common RA mistakes are discussed, chapter by chapter, in individual letters written by experienced RAs to new staff members. Each chapter includes resources and thought-provoking questions, allowing residence life professionals to choose which material they will cover to stimulate reflection and lively dialogue. This is an easy-to-use manual for an interactive, learning-centered RA training program at any level.
Part I: Building Community: The Basics. Being Away a Lot From the Floor During the First Week of School. Waiting Until the Second Month of the Year to Do Programming. Planning an Event With Your Hall Council and Doing All the Work Yourself. Avoiding Conflict: Seeing it as Harmful to Community. Jumping into Service Without Learning. Helping Students Choose their Friends Carefully: Avoiding Cults. Part II: Building an Inclusive Community. Assuming Students in a Racial Minority Don’t Want to be Included in Hall Activities. Trying to Help a Student of a Different Race and Making Things Worse. Ignoring Racist Comments. A Case of Religious Discrimination. The Facebook Nightmare. Part III: Resident Support. Assuming That a First-Year Student Who Outwardly Seems to Have it All Together Doesn’t Need Any Help or Support. Not Confronting a Student Who Serves Others So Much That She Hurts Herself. Not Reaching Out to a Lonely Resident. Telling a Resident’s Parent That it is OK to Call You. Communicating With a Resident Over Instant Messenger Instead of Having a Conversation in Person. Keeping Your Relationships with Residents in Balance. Part IV: Policy Enforcement. "If I Can’t See It, It Isn’t There:" A Dangerous Way to Avoid Policy Enforcement. Enjoying Policy Enforcement Too Much. Enforcing Policy Selectively: How to Really Annoy Your Residents. Ignoring Escalating Domestic Violence. Assuming a Student Who Comes Home Drunk With Great Frequency Can Handle His Alcohol. Assuming That All Students Who Appear Intoxicated Were Drinking Alcohol and Not Using Other Drugs. Part V: Helping Students with Psychological Difficulties. Promising a Resident You Won’t Tell Anyone What You Are About to be Told. Thinking that the Skinny Resident Who Keeps Losing Weight Will Be OK. Doing Nothing About the Resident Who Makes a Suicidal Comment. Assuming that the Student Who Makes Small Cuts on Different Parts of Her Body Wants to Kill Herself. Helping a Resident, and Your Floor, Survive a Panic Attack. Part VI: Things That Can Seriously Compromise Your Role. Being Careless About Spending University Money. Deciding What to Do Based on What Everyone Else Does. Dating a Resident. Drinking Alcohol with Underage Residents. Staff Conflict: Dealing with a Slacking Staff Member. Dealing With Parents. Part VII: Safety and Security. Not Getting Everyone Out During a Fire Alarm. Trying to Help a Rape Survivor But Making Her Feel Worse. Dealing with Someone Who is Not a Student. Excusing Violent Behavior as "Just Blowing Off Steam." Conclusion: Reflecting on the Importance of the Work We Do. What is Your Story? Ask Dr. John.