Two weeks in higher ed and things never looked better

Well, two weeks have passed on what has, so far, been a journey into my new career. Moving from secondary teaching into the world of Higher Ed was always going to be a steep learning curb – but I think I’m slowly working things out. Insights include the following:  

- Uni students are still students. They have needs and they still glow inside when I hand out stickers for good work. Sure, we’re all adults (and we have a chuckle when I explain how positive reinforcement works).

postscript – at the store today, I couldn’t help myself – and purchased three new sticker books…


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- The future of education in Australia is in good hands. The pre-service teachers with whom I work have hopes, dreams and passion for good teaching, creativity, loving their future students and nurturing their freedom of thought. 

- Many of these pre-service teachers went to school in tech-rich environments. “Digital divides” hardly seem relevant any more – and I feel like the ancient one when I admit that I went through high school in the mid-90s. At the end of the day, I’m still learning all the time from the students that I teach. 

- Juggling research and teaching is a real challenge. The criticisms of those in Eigher Ed (e.g. academics living in the ivory tower) aren’t fair any more than criticisms of primary/secondary teachers being “child minders” are. There should be room for middle ground – secondary teachers can be passionate researchers just as academics can be passionate teachers. My workload for the next week includes 40 hours marking, preparing for 3 classes, starting over 100 hours of research assistance work, doing the usual admin and, God forbid, making a start on my PhD.

- Nonetheless, I still celebrate openness. Studying a PhD in a higher institution is a luxury (check world figures on this and you’ll see what minuscule number of people actually have the luck and good fortune to make it to where I have). I feel that contributing back to research is the very least that can be done – and I openly share who I am and what I do.  

 

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About Michael

Cellist, singer/songwriter, school teacher, nerd, recent scooter enthusiast and failed philosopher.
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4 Responses to Two weeks in higher ed and things never looked better

  1. Michele says:

    Hi Michael,
    I think of you often and look longingly across the aisle but you’re not there! However, I’m truly glad that you are sounding so positive and happy.
    I’ll organise a BBQ in March when I know what I’m doing.
    Love to you and Felicity

    • Michael says:

      Dear Michele,

      Talk about changes. Where do I begin? Different times, different pressures and new stresses! But yes – I’m really enjoying the new direction and haven’t been particularly reminiscent (they’re working me so hard – I haven’t had the chance!) YES – let’s catch up ASAP!

      Love,
      M

  2. Geoffrey Clerke says:

    Good to read about how you are settling in. The Uni got a good deal when you joined the tertiary teaching as you study continue your study. Have fun, passion and adaptability are two characteristics that the training teachers will pick up from you. Cheers Geoff C

    • Michael says:

      Geoff – you really are too kind!!! Thank you for your words of wisdom (which I always appreciate). I hope I get to catch up with the CCC crowd (your good self included) before too long.

      Cheers,

      M :)

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