Monday, August 20, 2012

On the cusp of something new

I should be able to talk about things a little more freely soon. But I feel I'm on the edge of something new. Something good.

The eleven years full time in universities have been good. The six years before that - as an adjunct - were great, too. An interesting sideline, where I hadn't needed to engage with the day to day university machinations. The full time gig might have continued for a long time if the sector and myself had come to an agreement. I measure myself on whether students:

  • Learn stuff from me
  • Enjoyed my course
  • Choose to stay enrolled in the program
  • Urge their friends and colleagues to enrol in my courses
  • Carry a positive view about my employer

And four out of five of these are slam dunks for me, the fifth is less in my control, but I give it a red hot go.

I also like to click over in academic research. I managed five student through their confirmation of PhD candidature last year, got an honours student through, mentored a student's conference paper and secured an "A" journal publication of my own.

But I don't think "the system" has the same set of KPIs. So I'll stay as close to the system as it will let me. I'll teach the courses it wants me to, and teach them well.

But I have never put this much energy into a sector, achieved so many results and received so little in return. This puts me at a crossroads. A great upside is the personal goodwill I've been able to create from 17 years of teaching into the Adelaide business community. The lion and the mouse is real.

But as I've said to close friends and family "I've been here before, it's always led to something better". I simply need to overcome the lizard brain, and embrace an uncertain future with the expectation that it will be good.

It always has been.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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