Blake Steenhoven provides a very manageable workload, and actively tries to reduce our stress. To reduce our stress on the final exam, he split up the course into two separate midterms so that our final exam wouldn't cover a manageable amount of content. His teaching method is also very mental-health friendly, adapting requirements to different learning styles. He is very friendly and encouraging of questions, and is always very eager to help if we are struggling in class.
Just like physical health, emotional and psychological well-being are critically important to students' productivity and ability to manage the many stressors in a university experience.
The transition from high school to a university environment can be a challenging one. While adjusting to a new academic environment, students are also learning how to navigate a new social environment. I think it's important that educators, particularly those teaching first-year courses, do what we can to make this transition as easy as possible by clearly communicating expectations, encouraging open communication, and encouraging students to take advantage of the many resources available to support mental health on campus.
While it's impossible to prepare for every challenge you might face in a university environment, I think it's important for students to understand that this is normal. When you encounter challenges, it's not evidence that you don't belong or can't succeed - it's evidence that you're a normal college student having a normal college experience.
--- Dr. Blake Steenhoven