This past week was a busy one. Monday was my first real day back to work, my son’s first day of grade eleven and my first day of LRNT503 – Program Planning. I changed hats numerous times each day, between faculty, student, and mom. I recognize that this will be the new norm. Although it will be challenging at times, I know that I will manage, because these are all roles that I am passionate about. It’s also important to remember the other hats that we wear and, as per the wise advice that Lori-Anne gave in a casual conversation “Don't forget being a mom and friend and all that stuff.” That other stuff to me includes daughter, sister, aunt, as well as making time for self-care. I did manage to connect with friends and family this week, whether by phone or in person.
As I reflect on the readings about program planning, and as I switch between hats, I am finding relationships not only with program planning situations within our college but also with how some of the concepts apply to scenarios beyond program planning, such as leadership, reaching personal and organizational goals, and even our own students’ success.
In “Planning Programs for Adult Learners,” Caffarella (2010) cites Kouzes and Posner (2007), stating that part of a program planner’s job is to “create an environment where people are passionate about what they’re doing and take pride in what they’re doing. The end result will always be performance” (p. 126). She goes on to emphasize that planners need to enlist others to support them. My thoughts when I first read this paragraph about passion, pride, and performance went immediately to the first year students that started in the Apparel Technology program a few days ago. In our course introduction forum, many of the new students expressed a passion for costumes, fashion, art, etc. They are energetic and excited to be starting the program. Ultimately, we want students to take pride in their work and, and as with program planning, this combination of passion and pride, should lead to performance. I also see the importance of enlisting support and see myself and other faculty and staff as having a key role in that, for students. If we can support students and help them engage them with the learning, they will hopefully maintain their passion and excitement and be motivated to perform successfully.
With my own learning, I recognize that I need to be mindful of the process. It is easy to get caught up in the task lists and focus on checking things off. Particularly when the fatigue sets in, it is easy to lose sight of the passion and excitement. Sometimes it is worth slowing the pace just a little and taking a step back to really enjoy the process. I am grateful for the support that I have as a student: fellow classmates, instructors, friends, family, and work colleagues. Passion, pride and performance may just become a mantra as I begin this academic year as an instructor, student and mom.
Reference :Caffarella, R. S. & Daffron, S. R. (2013). Planning programs for adult learners: A practical
guide (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.