You Have Chosen…Wisely
I know my classmates have likely heard about the work I do with WIL/ Co-op students a fair bit, so I will not trudge down that path again. However, sitting here writing a final reflection piece to the LRNT 525 course, something has me thinking and applying something that, as co-op and career practitioner, we intentionally make our students do, which is perform a critical reflection. Reading a blog article on the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development website, I am reminded of the importance of fostering reflection in the classroom and how as instructors, we can use reflection to better ourselves (Danielson, 2009).
We encourage our students to better themselves at each opportunity, learning from their mistakes and past experiences, both good and bad. After an interview, after a co-op work term, what little nugget can you take with you to help you grow and move forward in your career. Looking through the various Units we encountered in the course context, each has provided me with some thoughts on my current role and, ultimately, my career trajectory. In Unit 1, we were asked to identify traits and characteristics of what we deemed “good” or admired leaders to have. I think every group could at least draw upon past experiences, where we have all worked with that “bad” boss or under an example of poor leadership, so we could all explain what worked well for us and ultimately what traits we could live without. Here, this project showed me what I valued as a team member and eventually what I would want to convey if I was ever in a leadership role, which I hope to obtain with this degree.
Kouzes and Posner’s work was very enlightening, and I found the time to read the entire book past our required readings. Oddly enough, my work provided a two-day leadership course and ultimately used Kouzes and Posner’s early work as a guide. Coincidence or not, but two instances of their name in a matter of weeks, I’ll assume they are onto something. Their take on a leader’s credibility was very close to my own take on as subordinate in that “what determines whether people will volunteer a little more of their time, talent, energy, experience, intelligence, creativity, and support to achieve significant improvement levels” (2011). In good times and under outstanding leadership, I am inspired to move myself and the team forward.
I have tasted this feeling before, and after reading through their material, I definitely want another sip. Moving on, I think the course has allowed me to see how vital leadership (good leadership) is in the context of a team, especially in the deployment of a new technology, specifically in a post-secondary institution. I have had the luxury of being a part of several new technology deployments at two major BC universities. One of those experiences is what drove me to the degree that combined technology and learning. In contrast, another experience has provided enough battle scars and learning experiences to last a lifetime.
Thank you, LRNT 525, for the continued direction, I was expecting it, but looking back on it now, I cannot wait to deploy some of these skills and toolkits moving forward.
Danielson, L. (2009). Fostering Reflection – Educational Leadership. ASCD.Org. http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb09/vol66/num05/Fostering-Reflection.aspx
Kouzes, J., & Posner, B. (2011). The characteristics of admired leaders. In Credibility: How leaders gain and lose it, why people demand it. San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey-Bass. https://royalroads.skillport.com/skillportfe/index.action