The Risk and the Reward

Does great risk equal great reward? I guess it depends on the risk. Though, despite my rebel tendencies, likely due to my fascination with Star Wars and wanting to fly an X-Wing and fight for the Rebel Alliance, I’m really not that risky of a person in life. Overall,  I like to stay in balance; taking risks feels unstable, dangerous. Professionally, and yes, I’m hip-with-professional-jargon, taking risks equals growth. I mean, look at all the books written about this very concept. Throughout my years (almost a decade!) at GCC, my favorite risks would be the following: applying and surviving the interview process to be hired full-time; leading a team to create and implement a campus-wide mentoring program for developmental students; presenting at conferences, especially about how to support students with executive function differences; teaching in a learning community of ENG102/CRE102 with Sherry Wangen; putting my students into learning teams at the beginning of the semester to achieve the course competencies by solving a community issue and creating real-life deliverables where students tangibly connected the classroom and their community; serving as an Assistant Chair; leaning into the hybrid and, then, hyflex modalities; trying all the shiny, new tools with students: PearDeck, Weebly, Prezi, Voki, Animoto, SoundCloud, FlipGrid, Kahoot, etc. etc. etc.; and most of all, being vulnerable with students in teaching by providing models from my own life experience, constantly learning, being open to feedback from students throughout the semester (What’s working? What’s not? Stop-Start-Continue), and not being afraid to make mistakes.  As I look back, I think I answered my own question; indubitably, the risks I’ve taken while serving as faculty at GCC have been some of the greatest rewards of my professional life.


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