September 7, 2011

Reflection on Nests

Well, I asked my own PD students to do a reflection report on their first week at school. Then I thought, why don't I do it as well? Especially since I came home in such a bad mood from our first team meeting of the year. And why was that? And what is my part in all of this (self reflection is about taking responsibility...)?
I was upset about the new ruling that 2 courses are being earmarked as so important that if students don't pass them - they won't pass to the 2nd year. On the one hand, it makes perfect sense, because some people just 'hang out' as students for 5 to 7 years... dragging it out until actually it's not clear if they are still students or part of the staff - and just like good parents - we need to eventually kick them out of the nest. Both for their sake and ours...

But on the other hand, making such strict rules for 1st year students seems tough - mainly because - having worked for the past 5 years with first year students - I perhaps lack the confidence that they will step up to this challenge.
And here's where I can look at my own part in this - my lack of faith - it is at times a recurring theme. Is it a control issue on my part? Wanting to help? Needing to be needed? How much do I trust my own kids to know to solve their own life's challenges and how much do I get involved and fight their battles for them? Am I doing this now ? Acting like an over worried parent to my 1st year students? Is that what is best for them? (I doubt it). It's also not my job - although as mentor I feel very attached to my students and really really really want them to succeed.

But I'm the one who always preaches to others, "Empower them!" And so I should listen to my own voice - and remember wise words a boss of mine said to me "Responsibility is not given, it is taken." So, little starlings, go ahead - rise and fly to the challenge!

Note to self: Move out of the way!

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