The Beautiful Thing About Learning Is That No One Can Take It From You. -- BB King
Scholar. Writer. Teacher. Student. My career is dominated by these four roles. Sometimes exclusively, sometimes all at once, but at all times a commitment to learning and the teaching of others is at the forefront of what I do. Personally, I believe that history not only has the richness of the past, but it is a valuable asset needed to teach us about the present and lead us into the future. The past, to paraphrase Warren Susman is usable in the present day.
I have spent a great deal of time in the classroom as an instructor, but even when not in that particular venue, the role I play in higher education is that of teacher. Helping students reach their potential is the most gratifying part of my career. Whether as a teacher, advisor, or administrator, the connection to students and their development is my guiding principle regardless of the position I hold or title I have.
The best piece of advice I ever recieved about working with college students was to remember what it was like to be in their shoes. While I don't live in a dormatory anymore, I do live in the space of a student. Not only in developing new skills and exploring new practices in my professional roles, but in areas outside of my professional arena. Exploring new interests while cultivating familiar ones. Whether that is taking up a new hobby or taking a more traditional class, remaining teachable is the best way to keep the student mindset. It is an approach that allows me to build a strong rapport with students regardless of the circumstance.