Top 10 ways to encourage a court reporting student

The journey through court reporting school is different for every student. The challenges and the successes all present themselves in different ways and at different points in a student’s progression. Right now there are students who need working reporters to reach out and help them make sense of the road ahead. What are the most effective ways the court reporting community can make a difference in the lives of students, both in the classrooms and online?

This top 10 list is meant to spark a conversation, and it is meant to inspire working reporters, groups, online forums, and associations into taking action. Every action big or small has a positive impact. There is no one who understands the journey better than those who have walked it, and this is especially true for the unique challenges court reporting students face.

Here are the top 10 ways that our community can encourage court reporting students:

  1. Visit a school and talk to students about how you reached your speeds and passed tests. Listen. Help them make sense of the process. While there, hand out cards in case someone would like a mentor. Educate students as to the expectations and benefits of the mentor/mentee relationship.
  2. Have NCRA members visit the schools and personally talk to the students about why they are NCRA members. Have the NCRA members distribute an old issue of the JCR to each student as a free gift.
  3. Provide the students with tools.  Dig out some of your old dictation, drills, and educational materials and pass them on. Attach a note of encouragement or ideas you found effective in building speed and clarity.
  4. Sponsor a membership for the NCRA or state association for a new student. This gives students a chance to really see the value in membership.
  5. Mentoring. Mentors have the best seat in the house to watch and participate in the success of their students. You can do things like send them a treat, like a $5 Starbucks gift card when they pass a big speed hurdle they’ve struggled with, and you can just be there for the moments that matter, good or bad.
  6. Share with a student all of the reasons why you love being a: freelancer, CART provider, captioner, or official.
  7. Schedule a time with the college in your area, if one exists, to come and speak to students about a day in the life of a court reporter.
  8. Call up and/or email three students for whom you have contact information and invite them to lunch, coffee, or tea; while meeting, you could just listen, or provide any advice they might request.
  9. Make yourself available to interns. Let a student spend the day in your courtroom. If you have a student who has interned with you, and has done a good job, put an “open courtroom policy” in place. Lay out the welcome mat and encourage the student to visit again and often. This way, students can get extra writing time, in addition to dictation in the lab.
  10. Make gift bags for the court reporting students at your local school. You could put tons of things in these bags; you could tailor them for new students or even students in a specific speed class. Some examples of things you could put in the bags: highlighters, chocolate, words of encouragement, contact information of local reporters to call or email for support, funny court reporting experiences, notes in steno, etc.

This list was compiled by NCRA’s Student Community of Interest.