Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Morning Musings
 The end of the semester is approaching, and I am excited. The break between semesters means I get to set aside my professor hat for a bit and put on my writer hat on a daily basis. I get to to take the projects that have been bumping around in my head and spend some time on them (after an appropriate period of procrastination, a.k.a. "changing gears," of course). I'm already beginning to make lists in anticipation of this changeover, hoping that prioritizing things means I'll make progress on more than one project.

I'm also a little sad, though. Teaching is about more than just making connections to the material; under the best of circumstances, it also means making connections to the students, and I will miss this semester's bunch. As an elementary school counselor, I had most of my students -- for better or for worse -- for four years. Now, I keep the young adults who populate my classes for only a semester, and though our paths may cross again on campus, I'm unlikely to see most of them once they've completed my class.
And even though they're not little kids, some of them tug at my heart strings. This is particularly true in a small class because I feel as though I get a little peek into each of their personalities. While I scratch the surface in a class of 30, a class half that size lends itself to more discussion and more one-on-one contact. And when those students are freshmen just finding their footing, the instructor/counselor line blurs just a bit.

Three semesters in, I've found my own footing as well. Satisfied that I've got the bulk of the content delivery piece in place, I can relax into the role, secure in the feeling that I have more to offer my students than elucidation of the material in their textbooks. It's a good feeling.

And so, while I'm looking forward to settling into my writer role for a month, I know that won't be the only role I play during that time. Beyond the break, new students beckon (along with a new textbook for one of my classes) and so I'll need to set aside time to prepare. Though I struggle to find writing time when the semester is in full swing, I've also learned that one role feeds the other, though each needs its own special time in order to thrive.

As it turns out, I need both in order to thrive as as well.


  1. It always warms my heart to see how your students and former students eyes light up when they run into you at Starbucks. :)

  2. What a wonderfully sweet thing to say! I love seeing them as well. It's such fun to see where they are headed...and now I get excited when they tell me they're York College-bound!