I have plenty of professors I see on a daily basis and rarely outside of class. The idea that a teacher would go above and beyond to communicate with their students was a foreign idea to me until the discovery of Ellen Bremen’s blog for students.
Ellen Bremen, a Communication Studies tenured professor at Highland Community College in Seattle, has been teaching for nearly 13 years. With three national awards for her teaching, Bremen focuses on teaching public speaking. Her passion for “helping students become excellent communicators in college and beyond” is strongly proven by her numerous blog entries.
April 2011 marks the first blog entry on Bremen’s blog website. Titled “The Chatty Professor,” Bremen delights in sharing tips to students regarding ways to become successful in school. Each Tuesday, a new entry is published. She will write about anything from how to communicate with your teacher regarding your grades to professors on Facebook and rules to abide by. In her posts, she provides a school-related conflict and then explains how to handle the situation. Her style of writing is both informative and entertaining.
Her entries are broken up into easy-to-read paragraphs and are simple to follow. She numbers points, adds bold to phrases for emphasis, and even includes links to other entries of hers or external links that provide even more in-depth detail about how to solve problems in school.
The purpose of the blog is to help students succeed in school and develop beneficial communication skills that will be useful even after graduation. Bremen says on her blog, “Issues are going to arise at some point in a college career, whether student-caused or professor-inflicted. This blog will help you deal with those issues the right way.”
One of the reoccurring topics I found was how to be successful in online classes when face-to-face communication was limited. One of the key communication tips Bremen says is to “remember that at any time, your communication with your prof can expand beyond e-mail: Make an old-school phone call or, if you are within reasonable distance, a face-to-face appointment. You may eliminate six e-mail strings with one 15-minute conversation. And a call is a must if the prof isn’t responding to your e-mails in a timely manner.”
In addition to blogging, Ellen Bremen tweets (@chattyprof)! Multiple times a day, Ellen will post links to give students additional guidance to success. She has approximately 700 followers and has posted about 3,400 tweets.
Already, The Chatty Professor has received attention all over the United States. The Washington Post featured her in late August, and Mark Babbitt from Youtern.com named her Twitter as one of the top 50 Twitter accounts job seekers must follow. He refers to it as, “a relatively new kid on the twitter career scene – and a goldmine of good info.”
Currently, Bremen teaches hybrid classes and is working on a book titled Say This, NOT That to Your College Professor: 42 Talking Tips for College Success. She encourages students to e-mail her if they have any questions for the blog. Some of her entries may even begin with a question from a reader and expand into a useful lesson.
Her blog can be found at: www.chattyprof.blogspot.com.