As I upload my final grades for the Fall semester, I realize how much I am going to miss this class and each student in it. In my third year as an adjunct professor of Public Relations Strategy at Florida Gulf Coast University, teaching this course is a real highlight of my career. Not only do I have the opportunity to share my “real world” experiences with an eager group of budding professionals, I have the great pleasure of seeing the students absorb and process new information, and then demonstrate their new found knowledge.
This semester has proven to be more rewarding than ever. Most teachers will find in every class a few standouts, a larger group of average hard working students, and the remaining few who do not fulfill their potential. I expected the same when the semester started in August with 64 eyes staring at me from one mass of faces. However, I soon discovered that I was engaging with 32 very unique shining stars.
While not every student is perfect and not everyone achieves an A, each of these students had that “spark,” a glimmer of pure interest and passion refreshingly unmarred by cynicism. It was a pleasure and a privilege to get to know these students on an individual basis and to learn more about their goals, their outside interests and their upcoming plans.
Yes, I am a little sad to see them go, but also very optimistic about their futures. This was a class that as a whole, shared curiosity, enthusiasm and passion — qualities that will serve them well in whatever they choose to do next. I hope they have learned some valuable lessons in our class — about PR Strategy and maybe even a little about life — that will help them later.
As for me, I learned a lot through their very fresh eyes, and they have left me very hopeful about the future of the Public Relations profession — can’t wait to see what Spring Semester brings!
Visit my website to learn more about my dual roles as a PR Professional and Adjunct Professor!