Looking Back & Looking Forward: Creating Our Path

- Friday, April 16, 2021
trail

It is hard to believe it was March 16 when we last met on these pages. My apologies to you, but higher priorities called. Well, it was largely you, and to be honest, although it has been hectic, I have enjoyed nearly every moment of it.

What am I talking about? Put simply, your path (here’s where you may want to reference a late February post focused on educator opportunities for professional growth and advancement.)

Through the faculty annual review process and A&P educator promotion reviews, I have had the chance over the past month or so to learn so much more about our educators and their professional paths. I have read about your accomplishments and your plans for the future in your own words as well as the words of your colleagues and external stakeholders. In addition, reading the written comments of your annual review letters enables me to visualize your professional growth similar to time-lapse photography. Thank you all for making the most of your opportunities to document growth and opportunities for improvement using your words.

Seeing such a broad cross-section of Extension educators, from our recently hired A&P I and II promotion candidates to our 30+ year professors, from this perspective has been a joy. It fills my heart to see among the documentation of our junior A&P colleagues peer evaluation of teaching letters authored by many of our most accomplished senior level faculty. To read about our plans for the future, especially considering everything we learned about ourselves and our work over the past year, gives me the greatest hope and confidence that we will continue to make a difference in the lives of many.

To read about you like this has strengthened my awareness of your work and your unique contributions. Many are just starting to walk their path and many others have already covered quite a bit of ground. I appreciate each of you. Remember that there is no one ideal or perfect path to make a difference; each path is as unique as each of us.

What a beautiful way to spend one’s day. I look forward to helping you create your path!

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