Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Appreciating Ourselves

My wife went in for surgery on her foot earlier in the week. It was out-patient surgery but they still remove a nerve from her foot and there is some recuperation time involved (as there obviously should be). Watching her try and get things done, it is amazing to realize how much we do that we just take for granted.

As I watched her and had these thoughts, it occurred to me that there are a couple of very important lessons we can and should learn. First is the determination to do something. Gritting our teeth and grinning and bearing so we can accomplish the goal. There have been many times when I have finished the day job and felt exhausted. I just did not want to put a lesson plan together, or grade that assignment. So what if the student gets the assignment back at the following class. So what if I just recycle a lesson plan from last year instead of reviewing the material. The fact is I know and I care. Determination is key. Hopefully seeing someone like my wife show such determination will help me resolve to increase my determination this year.

The other important lesson to learn is how we should not take things for granted. After all, when something is taken away from us we realize just how much we took that particular item for granted. I tell my students when they finish their first class assignment, they should do something nice to reward themselves. One student told me it is even nicer if someone else does something nice for them. As a result, I have been known to bring in donuts, or some other kind of treat after the first assignment is done.

I do not, however, do anything to treat myself when I finish an assignment for the class. I think it is time as an adjunct to stop taking things for granted. I am not suggesting I slow down or stop doing the things I do, rather I am saying I should pause, take a moment and actually appreciate what I accomplished.

It is nice when others show appreciation for what you have done but it is also very important to show appreciation for yourself.