Practice, Guidence, Modeling and Encouragement

We have a new set of interns and GTAs this semester. Louise, Alex and Karlie finished their sojourn with us in December, and we have sent them out to rock the world of instruction! This semester, we welcome Steve, Kristen, and Robert to the group, and Brett and I look forward to watching them learn! I know at the beginning of the semester, our group experiences much trepidation- what can be more scary than the thought that in the span of a month, you are going to be expected to stand in front of 25 freshmen and teach them something! As we begin the semester, I’d like to share a post that came across Inside Higher Ed that I think really expresses something lovely. The post is about developing an ethical culture (a further explanation of the resolution stating “We will stop making Faustian bargains in the search for truth, and create a lived and shared culture of ethical conduct and transparency” ) it speaks to what we are striving for each semester in our group.

The thing that I love about this post and it’s analogy to ballet is the environment which the author is describing. A culture of “guidance, modeling, and encouragement toward the ideal.” This is the very culture that we strive for in our instruction internship program- our intention is to invite our interns to join a learning environment where they are going to make mistakes and be nervous, but where they will be encouraged to grow and find their voice. To give them experience in teaching with a safety net, so that when they enter the job market they will both know what to expect and have something to offer their future employer. To guide new instruction librarians in the practice of reflection and intentionality. And to give them a period of time to learn to self-evaluate and assess their performance, and practice without the pressure of impressing anyone. And I hope that with this experience, their future participation in instructional activities will be more fruitful and less cause for anxiety.

So, welcome to a new semester! I look forward to all of the great work that we’re going to do!

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