the cooperative relationship of colleagues
One of the best lessons I have learned through this reflection process is to learn from others. Other professors in my department and outside of my department have extended wisdom, and support at times when I needed it.
I used to think that I encountered “unique” issues and situations. I have learned through this reflection experience that we can learn a lot from talking to each other.
It is not weakness to seek others for advice… it is wise to seek those who have the experience and knowledge.
This past week I was approached by a student about a moral/ethical question. I gave her advice, but I could see that it was difficult for her to take the advice because of her current life experiences (don’t worry it wasn’t anything bad or life threatening… it was minor and won’t really make a difference one way or another). But, the best thing about this encounter is that I saw myself in her. I saw that sometimes I ask advice from more experienced faculty, and sometimes I have a hard time understanding that advice.
I grew a lot from this encounter. It showed me that I can learn a lot from others if I just take the time to understand that my colleagues have that advice to offer. I understand that I am in my own growth process as a professor and that it may be at a different place than other people. AND that’s okay…
I can see myself maturing as a person and as a professional. I don’t do things the same way I did my first year of teaching. In five years, I probably won’t teach the same way I am teaching now. There is nothing wrong with what I am doing now but I hope to learn and to grow.
I am grateful that I am surrounded by co-workers that work together. I hope to continue to grow from using a collaborative approach to evaluate my actions a professor. I plan to be that peer or mentor support to future faculty.
We are stronger when we work together and when we learn from each other.