I have been pondering my energy focus in my job. As a professor I do have a lot of freedom within my job. I am still tasked with teaching certain courses and a number of lectures, but the rest of my time is cultivated by me. As I reflect on how I’ve been using this time in between lectures, I have found I have moved from my first few years of approach of doing more things to doing the things I already do better. When I say better, I mean that I am spending time on the details of my job.
As an example, I am working on Education Research. I used to look for projects to do that were outside of my regular classroom needs. This wasn’t bad, but there were practices I was using in class that I didn’t actually know if they were effective. Now instead of looking for other projects to work on, I am focusing more time on tasks that already have to be done, but making sure I am doing all of these jobs well. This year, I am working on the way I mentor teaching assistants, spending time evaluating how I am evaluating content that I deliver, and analyzing how to better deliver the content that I am already tasked to give. I now realize that I need to become a better teacher before I can do anything else outside of that and split my time too much.
So although I feel like I am not the mover and shaker that I want to be, I need to develop more street credit. I am happy with the process of developing as a teacher and have to remember that it’s okay to not try and do more, but to do better at the jobs I already have to do.