Across the country, a seasonal migration is taking place. A tide is flowing back in. Summer is over and students are trekking on college and university campuses. For some, it is for the first time. For others, it has become routine. The range of emotions scans the imaginable spectrum: bored, inspired, nervous, excited, joyful, scared.
Professors also are arriving on campus. Most professors leave campus for the summer break, and now it’s time for their return. Spirits are usually up-beat: joy over reestablishing colleague friendships and satisfaction over getting back in the saddle. A few though, are nervous. These are the newbies, whether they have just completed their doctorates or have transferred to a new school.
I am an old newbie. Including the time spent as a graduate student instructor, I’m embarking on my 32nd year in the college classroom. As you would expect, there’s far too much grey in my hair and flab around my waist. From where springs the new? I’m only in my second year at my current school, and half my teaching load will be new classes. Concern about the new (colleagues, administrators, students, courses) has overwhelmed any confidence I might have gained from all my experience.
Yes, I’ll be challenged during this new school year. I hope to be resolute–bold, steady, determined–and filled with resolve. To this end, I’m creating a list of resolutions.
- I resolve to treat each student with respect and honor. As unique creations, they deserve no less.
- I resolve to skip the trivial, instead focusing on meaningful and valuable lessons.
- I resolve to engage my students every class period.
- I also resolve be a successful academic. This means writing papers that actually make a difference, and following through to get them published.
- I resolve to engage my readers with thought-provoking essays at both The Summa and Pondering the Classroom.
Have you thought about your own new year resolutions?
— David Albrecht