Ok so PAA's, congratulations on your position! I'm sure we all know that primarily we are here for the academics of our residents; so let's talk about what that means. You are responsible for doing yor best to know how each of your residents is doing with ther classes. It is especially important that you establish relationships with your residents in the first few weeks of school. One way to do this is to simply go around and pop your head into people's rooms. Ask them how classes have been going. Don't be afraid to knock on doors that are closed, and see how things are going.
Along with academics you should get to know your residents on a social level as well. Partly because it helps them feel comfortable with you, and the more cool they feel with you the more open and honest they will be. Also, they will be more likely to ask for help and to let you offer help if they feel comfortable with it. I'll make a note about guys here especially, from my experiences they don't like/don't know how to ask for help with things, even if you go to them and offer it. I'll give a specific example here. I had a guy who needed help with some classes. I knew he wasn't doing the best so I went and talked to him. I asked if there was anything I could help him with. He said something like "well I don't get it anyway" or something like that. At that time I just said ok and let him be. I didn't know what he was really saying, "please help me." Later that year the same guy was putting together a futon he had just bought. I stopped in to see what was up and asked if he needed any help. This is what he said "well I don't know how to do it." He didn't say yeah that would be sweet or anything like that. But I picked up on it. I ended up helping him put it together, and when we were done just as I was leaving he said thanks. It was sweet, I didn't know if he would. But anyway, moral of the story is, keep your ear open for key phrases from people. More to add later.
Good Stuff Charlie