What happens when you enjoy your work?

Ella Morris takes a picture of her mum Glenda's library graduating class of 2011.

It’s true, not everyone has the opportunity to enjoy their job – I mean, totally enjoy it even with it’s ups and downs.  It also takes a deal of meandering through life (sometimes) to finally find a slot that seems to work!  I have always admired the leaders and innovators amongst us the most, and knew that if there was some way to capture an element of their ‘magic’, I would be happy.  The capacity to ask the hard questions and then be ready to deal with the (sometimes unexpected ) answers is a rare trait. Always things are tempered by ‘other’ considerations ….. yes, more like excuses if you ask me ;-)

I’ve worked in quite a number of schools, and supported even more of them in my school district role.   We need to clone Stephen Heppell – a genuine leader and innovator if ever there was one!

So if  you believe in certain things – how do you fit that with the practicalities of the workplace you find yourself in?   My students are grappling with that very question, from various angles, depending on the course they are immersed in at CSU.  Whether its embarking on ways to integrate digital citizenship into mainstream learning, or new programs in their local library, or probject-based learning to liberate the classroom and the kids  from curriculum atrophy – there is no simple solution. There could be of course – but it takes a powerhouse like Stephen to shift things in one fell swoop.

So given all the constraints that schools can impose on us,  I am delighted with my newfound workplace.  Here is why:-

  • I am trusted 100% to do my work, and expected to find better ways to nurture the learning of my students.
  • I am working online (because all the students are studying online) and I can therefore explore better ways to help our students be part of the global connections that is learning today.
  • I work with a most wonderful team of educators in the Faculty who come from all over the world, and who are based in Wagga and also all over the world!
  • I am able to do magical things in person – such as taking a fantastic group of students on a 4-day tour of major libraries and facilities in Canberra. Who knew the National Library was so fantastic??!
  • I am able to work flexibily – which generally means I work more!
  • I am able to go out and work with schools and institutions, do workshops, write or present things.
  • I am able to work with current and future leaders in our schools and community  – these graduate and post-graduate students are responsible for shaping the learning and library services  in our schools and community – right now and in the future.
  • I am inspired by my interactions – because I see and hear so many voices, ideas, challenges and victories from so many different schools and so many different library settings in schools and in other sectors. What my students say and comment on in the forums is just amazing!  They really ARE thinking hard about the value of libraries and how they can/should adapt as we march further into a digital world.

Have I taken to this like a duck to water?  I thinks so!

That’s why it was an honour and delight to travel back to CSU  Wagga Wagga to attend and celebrate the graduation of this year’s students in various degrees up to PhD in the School of  Library and Information Studies. The sheer joy was spinetingling. The pride of the families who came along was bursting over the crowd like a huge sunburst as they observed from the balcony seating above the graduates.  As I keep learning more about how to do my job at CSU, the picture of these students will be before me – until the next graduation ceremony.

Congratulations to all our graduates!

3 thoughts on “What happens when you enjoy your work?

  1. Great post Jude. Good to see you are enjoying life as a lecturer at CSU. I’ve been doing it for some years now and still enjoy the variety and challenges of working as an academic in a team that works very closely with our profession. Who can be bored when there is so much to do? Interaction with our students is what fuels my passion for our profession. I love exploring new ways of communicating, collaborating and sharing with my students – the socially networked world has offered us so many new and exciting ways of connecting with our distance education students in the past few years. This is reflected in my teaching philosophy and recasting blended learning in a Web 2.0 podcast available http://studentslearn.wordpress.com/my-teaching/. I’m really pleased to hear you are enjoying learning with and from our students. You are in a privileged position where you hear a lot of the highs, lows and challenges currently faced by individual teachers and TLs in schools… this informs the nature of research we undertake and futures thinking we explore as ways of supporting our students and profession in helping reshape education. Session 1 2011 sounds like its been a real treat for you and your students :-) Cheers, Lyn

  2. What a lovely inspirational piece Judy. you can feel your enthusiasm, passion and care you have those you teach..Congratulations on finding your niche:)and to all CSU students who are lucky to have Judy as your teacher and mentor. Enjoy every moment and be sure to carry the word into the schools and institutions that you work in…

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