A New Term: The Promise

It is week 2 of 13 at work and it is filled with new faces, new courses, and lots of promise. I did something a little different last week during one of my lectures. I spent a good chunk talking about my expectations, good habits, things to avoid, and reminded my students to get involved. These points speak to the Fall term at university. I want big things for this term.

The reminder is also important for me. I am in my 17th year of teaching and this means that I am comfortable with my job. Comfort is great and has some pitfalls. I must remember that this new environment is filled with its own jargon and the new students are just figuring out the place–let alone my expectations on the first or second day. As I walked to the lecture hall last week, I had that bounce in my step and I was excited. It was great to see the new group. Welcome to campus, and welcome to my classroom. I know that this particular class is different, as it is team taught.

When I walk into the classroom, I think about my job and how important it is for the students. It is privilege to have an important part in their education. But, as I told them, they need to show up. They need to own their education. I am looking forward to this term. And, I really hope that my students are, too. I’m raising my coffee to my students. Rock this term!

IMG_3400.JPG

Welcome Back to the New Year: To A Great Year

Welcome back to the new school year. During the last two weeks, I shared a post about wishing students well. Today’s post is about wishing me a good year. What am I looking forward to during this upcoming term and school year?
It’s the same thing: I want my classes to run smoothly and for the students to hone their critical thinking skills. I want them to understand how diverse Political Science really is as a discipline. They will see this in my courses—through the lectures, readings, and conversations.

I want students in my office hours to leave feeling that their questions were answered and they were listened to by me. I might not give them the answer that they want to hear, but I will always be honest with them about their marks, requirements to graduate and other pertinent information.

I have high hopes for my first year as the Chair of the Academic Women’s
Caucus. After consulting with colleagues over at UVIC Communications, I have a really good idea about my self-imposed mandate to help women faculty raise their profile in their departments, on campus, and in the larger community. Part of this will include a few workshops this year. I’m particularly happy to have a great set of women to work with on the AWC Steering Committee and to have a more than competent work-study student.

As usual, I look forward to my participation on campus in the community as an ambassador of sorts for the department in my official and unofficial capacity as a faculty member and community member invested in UVIC and the greater Victoria region.

I do think that this means that it’s business as usual. And, this is not a bad thing when you really, really love your job, have a great family and network of friends. A common refrain in my household is: Life is Good. It is. To a great year!