Reflections on Learning from Work Experiences

Learning a new job is reteaching me things I continually forget about teaching, like how difficult a teacher can make simple stuff.

I realize: Much I’ve been forced to memorize at my new job could have been made into a checklist that I could have memorized while I used it.

I ask myself: Are there parts of skills I teach that could be a checklist so students can memorize the steps while using it?

I realize: New employees need easy access to reference materials to consult if they forget how to do a task.

I ask myself: Have I provided easy access to reference materials students can consult if they forget how to do a task?

I realize: People assume the way things are done at their job site are the way things are done everywhere.

I ask myself:  Am I unwittingly making students think there’s only one procedure (my way!) for doing routine tasks?

I realize:  The hardest part of my job is not the actual work, but knowing how to arrange the tasks so the work gets done accurately and on time.

I ask myself:  Do I do enough to help students learn how to arrange their tasks so their writing gets done accurately and on time?

I realize:  In the workplace, work needs to be done right the first time; mistakes are costly.

I ask myself:  Do I do enough to help students learn what aspects of writing are most important to get right in the first draft?

I realize:  Ability to deal with people is at least as important as being able to do the job tasks.

I ask myself: Do I do enough to help students learn how to work with people who have no vested interest in working with them?

If it’s been a while since you got away from education to experience what today’s workplace is like, I recommend you plan to make an opportunity to do that soon. Working outside education is highly educational.

You might even call it a professional development experience.

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