This post may not read very well… it’s more of a stream of consciousness. I wanted to write something snappy with GIFs etc. but am finding it hard to blog at all let alone write something vaguely entertaining.
My main motivation in life and in work is to help people (sorry, interview answer; “to see a task through to completion”) If I can have an interaction with someone be that via email, social media or in person and know that I have contributed to helping them access help or have made them feel empowered enough to help themselves, I am happy.
It is this ‘value added’ the ‘nice to have’ part of my work and the challenging set of people I work with that makes the success of my role and work very hard to quantify. That teamed with the unpredictability of cohort mind set and an inconsistency in student engagement means that I can go for a long time thinking students don’t care about their education or about being part of a community of students studying a certain subject. When I’m sure that can’t be true.
I’m beginning to see more and more that I am only as good as the students I work with. I am only as useful as the students who engage with the School allow me to be. I can only act based on constructive feedback not comments like “the lectures are boring”.
I hate saying it but part of me agrees with a lot of the articles I see that suggest that students feel as though they can govern every interaction with university staff and dictate what staff do as a result of those conversations. At the same time as being more than willing to complain about a situation they aren’t all that willing to receive criticism or engage in debate themselves.
Unfortunately this is because they don’t always see how best to interact with the institution they study at. It’s easier to see what is wrong with a place and to criticise than it is to stop and think about forming an opinion properly before sharing it and to try and say something you like.
I always say to people “I never thought working with students would be this hard” having been one relatively recently myself. But if it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be rewarding when there are small glimmers of positive outcomes.