Today was convocation. The official beginning of the academic year. It’s full of activity, a little fan fare, some crazed last minute prep. It’s also the first day I’ve seen most of my colleagues since my mom passed away earlier this summer. I started the morning meditating and praying and asking for God to give me a few ounces of my mom’s calm demeanor, political savvyness, and great teaching skills. She never seemed nervous in front of her class, despite the fact that she was essentially an introvert. I also never saw her use any notes, and she taught before the invention of the Internet and power point. She spoke with ease and authority. Her students hung on her every word. She was always well prepared. She returned papers on time with lots of constructive feedback. She was a master teacher. She rarely if ever worked at home, she wisely used her time and did almost all her prep, grading, etc at her on-campus office. She also didn’t have convocation or tons of meetings. She taught at a community college and spent the majority of her time focused on students and their learning. She was student centered before it was a cliché term. She had fun teaching and spoke of her job with joy and pride.
I usually make resolutions at the beginning of each acaddmic yeaf becausd it’s always a new beginning for me. I’m pledging to:
1. Be proud of what I do.
2. Enjoy what I do.
3. Be prepared so I can be calm.
4. Focus on my students and their learning.
5. Not procrastinate, use time wisely and bring as little work home as possible.
6. Rely on my notes less.
7. No promises about a clean desk…apologies to my office mate!
I hope she’s looking down and feeling proud as I begin my 10th year of full time teaching.