“In order to become a “trusted ally” to support first generation, Black, and students of color, it’s important to remember:
L -isten without judgment to develop empathy and understanding.
- Don’t make judgements about students with accommodations, the purpose of these accommodations are to help students with disabilities to have the same opportunities as others.
E -ducate yourself on issues and struggles to prepare yourself to be more supportive.
- Understand that little gestures can go a long way in helping the students feel comfortable and safe.
A – ware (be) self-aware and aware of others who may be struggling due to social problems.
- Approach all situations with kindness, you might not know the students’ situation. Some of these students may not know what a TA is or may not be aware of how you can help them.
D – o seek to know how to fulfill your special duty to uplift, empower, and serve. Some ideas to consider are:
- Do treat students as individuals and avoid assuming you understand their challenges just by looking at them.
- Do provide feedback to students that is thorough and constructive, but kind. Remember, this could be the first time this student has written a paper.
- Be willing to spend extra time helping students who may be from a background that puts them at a disadvantage.
- Actively reach out to students who are struggling.