I’ve reflected a lot about teaching this past semester. It makes sense, I mean, I’m now a teacher. But I think I’m due for a reflection about the transition from a decade in the field to a full-time professor.
The best transitions are the seamless ones. No seamstress required.
I started teaching at CTS Canadian Career College in May of 2017, while working full-time at the Canadian Mental Health Association. September, 2017 rolled along and I found myself working part-time at Cambrian College for the fall, winter and spring semesters, again while working full=time at CMHA.
The summer sauntered in and I found myself hired as the coordinator for the new post-graduate certificate program in Community and Health Services Navigation at Cambrian College. (Fun fact: Just before leaving the interview, I made a comment that I wish the song Take a Chance on Me by ABBA would start playing as I exited the room.) The song may not have played but they did take that chance on me.
It’s resulted in a sustainable type of gratitude, a gratitude that I reflect on regularly. Just today, for example, while attending the “Christmas Coffee Break,” I looked around in awe: I’m a part of this.
And I have felt part of it all from the beginning. You know how people send out a massive thank you email before leaving a company for retirement? I feel like I should be sending a thank-you email for the first semester of my new career.
A thank you blog post will just have to do.
Thank you to the dean and everybody at the interview panel who took a chance on me. Thank you to the department secretary and Monica, whose title I just realized I don’t know (looks like I’ve got my first New Year’s resolution).
Thank you to the JACS team for welcoming me and taking me under your wing. I’ve met with faculty across different programs who have all graciously shared pieces of wisdom with me.
Thank you to the IT department who has come to my rescue, as well as the rescue of many others, I’m sure. My favorite was when the computer had a mind of its own and began jumping ahead through the slides as I stood 10 feet away rather confused. We were talking about self-esteem that day and its unstable nature so the computer was sort of like a guest speaker.
The most obvious thank you goes to everybody at the Hub with both formal and informal help. Today, I headed there before the Christmas Coffee Break to see if I could tag along. They willingly included me just as they willingly support me in all of my academic endeavors.
Thank you to the health and safety officer for the ergonomic work supplies. My wrist thanks you too. Thank you to the maintenance team for all your heavy lifting. To all the friendly staff at the library who are so approachable. Thank you to the President and Vice President of Academics for being so involved and personable. Thank you to my orientation crew back from that first week in August. I love that we have a graduating class sort of bond.
Working part-time combined with starting my Masters in Education mixed in with being a field supervisor at CMHA since 2010 (seeing John and Laurel in the hallways continually feels surreal after working with them as a field placement supervisor over the years), and most importantly my 11 years in the field, has given me the skills to thrive. I have a level of autonomy that fascinates and motivates me at such a deeply intrinsic level. To have the opportunity to take my learning from more than a decade and propel it into this dream career is why you’re getting this Oscar type acceptance speech. Thank you to anyone I didn’t specifically mention and for all of you I have yet to meet (the wrap-up music surely started playing a paragraph ago).