This and that…

October 4, 2013

Rumination

Filed under: education,Support Services,Uncategorized — learningspecialist @ 8:04 pm

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
Søren Kierkegaard

I am perplexed that more people do not  find the time to reflect on the work that they do. It is essential to me as a professional and a person to regularly d review what I have done and the direction that I seem to be heading. I am often my harshest critic and I am seldom the person who shares my accomplishments with others.

This has been a demanding semester so far. The work that I do is often frustrating. The bulk of my time is spent with students who are most at risk, whose gains are very slow and whose challenges are very great. They are frequently unprepared for college, though they want it badly. I rarely get to spend time with the other half of the world, who find school a joy. It is one of the things that I miss about more mainstream teaching-that balance in perspective. On the other hand, there are some students in whom I have invested a significant amount of time and it seems to be paying off. They are moving forward,  taking control in a positive way. I am proud to have been a part of that process and I delight in seeing them grow.

There are others whose journey is still very, very long. I ache for them and for their families.

The institution that I work at is under the same pressure that all postsecondary institutions labor under… Costs continue to go up. The pool of available students continues to shrink.   We have a relatively new senior staff who seem to be having a difficult time finding their footing and faculty that becomes progressively more frustrated while they wait for that to happen. Money is tight, as it is everywhere. It is occasionally difficult to maintain a positive outlook even though I love this job and I love the school.

As I reflect on the last five weeks, particularly in my personal writing, I see that I have let some things go on a personal level and as a member of the campus community. I could excuse myself by saying I was busy (and I have been) but that does not make it right. I am a member of this community, it has been good to me, and my individual contribution is important.

We  all do well to look back at ourselves periodically,  personally and professionally. It is too easy to slog along from day-to-day and forget how far we have come and where we need to go. Got a minute?

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

Confucius

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