It’s been a whole academic year that I’ve been here. The first semester was a whirlwind; doing everything for the first time was intimidating and filled with surprises. This second semester has had more of a flow. I feel more confident in my abilities as an educator (though I have a long way to go) and I’m getting used to the drafting of exams, and marking, marking, marking!
I love being in the college environment and the structure of it – the semester begins, midterms happen, then finals and it’s over. The youthful vitality of the students is invigorating – I love their questions, their plans, and their outfits! I’ve now had several students in consecutive semesters, and it’s rewarding to see them develop academically and go on to job placements and internships. I take pride in their successes and feel anxious for their futures.
The most satisfying aspect of my job, however, has been the camaraderie within the faculty. There’s an amazing group of teachers here, and it’s mostly women. From day one, I was welcomed into the lunch room and made to feel a part of a fabulous community. There’s always coffee, great conversation and an incredible sounding board to address a crisis with a student, a marking challenge or an issue with one of my own kids. My colleagues are all mothers and/or grandmothers. There’s nothing I’m going through that they haven’t seen a million times. I love drawing from their experience and learning from their lives – teaching and otherwise.
It’s such a strange thing, this office “life”. At this stage of my life, so much emphasis is placed my roles as spouse and mother. However, as much as these roles define and fulfill me, this camaraderie at work plays an integral role in my happiness. I find myself excited to come to work not only because of the intellectual stimulation but because of the social element too. I look forward to the community, the conversation and the few hours when I exist not as a parent or wife — but just me.