After 30 some years, I am going back to school – beginning graduate studies this month for a masters in Organizational Leadership. Wow! Suddenly, all the feelings and associations that September brought me as a child and teen re-surface. I wonder whether I’ll like my classmates, the teacher, the courses. Will I be inspired or frustrated? Will my life experience add value in class discussions? Will the younger students have techno-advantage in using the e-textbooks, chat rooms, etc?
How amusing that, for all we mature, our child-like qualities – positive and negative – awaken and influence us. How do we make that a good thing? I plan to selectively call forth some of the most positive characteristics of my youthful student days:
- Believe that I can. Returning to the magic time of kindergarten when I believed that I could sing, dance, clown, leap, and make magic. I will believe that I will be a leader and valuable contributor in my classes.
- Believe in my teachers. In six grade, I believed that my teacher, Miss Donovan knew EVERYTHING! Later, in college and continuing ed, I became more cautious and challenging. I’m going to give respect and high expectations to my graduate professors – I will likely learn lots more with that attitude.
- Believe that classes make a difference. In school, I was always a sponge for information, insights, exercises, and discussions. In the many years since college graduation, I’ve shifted my thinking that real-world experience is a better teacher. It’s time to once again, give the classroom its honored role.
Having a master’s degree is one of the required credentials for some of the important work that I want to do. Beyond checking the box, I’m choosing to embrace the opportunity to celebrate my abilities, gain insights from great teachers, collaborate with gifted students, and incorporate valuable information and experiences into my profession and my life. I am giving myself the leadership lesson to lead myself with belief and positive anticipation into this endeavor. Stay tuned!