Thursday, May 01, 2014

What have I learnt?

Days became weeks, weeks became months, months became semesters and semesters became a year.  If I were to make a relative comparison to the other years of my life, I have had the shortest year with probably the longest days. What changed? I joined the TFI fellowship in one of the most challenging schools in the city.

During the year, I did not ever take the time to zoom out and think about what I was learning. I did put in a lot of thought about my work and my students but never about my own development. One month down the vacation, I have been wondering if I learnt anything at all - and I have decided to put this conversation with myself on paper in case my future self wishes to refer to it.

What did the year teach me?
1) I learnt to value what I took for granted, though gratitude is still a work in progress -an upbringing that gave me the wisdom to choose wisely, a privileged education , access to books and internet, supportive family, encouraging friends, love, travel, freedom,  among many other things.
2) I learnt to be more patient. Having been a person driven by efficiency and logic, I often have been impatient with those to who it is not second nature. I learnt to calmly handle people in the latter group and adjust my expectations to who they were. I am going to further work on achieving synergy in the team.
3) I learnt where to draw the line between work and personal life. I never faced an issue with this earlier as I was good at planning my time, but I was often guilty of planning without buffers. The mental, emotional and physical stress  that had built up by the end of the academic year forced me to re-look at how I planned my work  keeping in mind my own well-being.
4) I understood the need of working in a team, even though I was teaching independently in the classroom. I will make a conscious effort to master this in the year to come to further improve effectiveness of the second year.
5) I was always a stickler for structures, but learnt the importance of how consistently enforcing them can take away the burden of the tiny everyday decisions away from your head. I need to create and implement a weekly schedule to ensure structures work smoothly both in professional and personal life.
6) I learnt how the problem facing education is a mess. No unilateral action can ever fix it. Solving one difficulty could create a thousand others, if not effectively thought through. I will explore the situation at a macro-level further.
7) I learnt to work as an entrepreneur - raising funds, planning goals and actions, measuring outcomes and again fine tuning the inputs based on analysis.
8) I learnt to self monitor for excellence. It is easy to lose focus or let the guard down in a role that involves remote management and supervision.

No comments: