Monday was the #DayOfHigherEd in the twitterverse. Throughout the day, 460 academics tweeted their days, sending 1,495 tweets. The day was prompted by recent stories, including a Washington Post op-ed, that have questioned how hard faculty work.
In case you are among the millions of Americans who do not follow me on twitter, I’ve copied my first tweet on the topic below:
“Was too busy on this #DayOfHigherEd to tweet! But, wouldn't trade a day in #comm_college work for any other. Make a difference every day!”
Then, I took a few moments to read through some of the others in this hashtag thread, which led me to write the following:
“Reading thru #DayofHigherEd posts; wish more focused not on cataloging what we do but why. What has drawn us, what keeps us. What matters.”
Without question, we all work hard … but we’re not alone. Most people, regardless of occupation, feel they work too many hours for too little reward and recognition—and they’re often right.
So, rather than create clock punches of all our minutes, I wish we would come together in education to share and share and share again that what is valuable about our work is why and how we do it and what it creates. What makes our work within education valuable--from Pre Kindergarten all the way through Post Graduate--is not the clock hours we log but the significant and life-changing impact of what we do.
Those currently questioning the value of higher education all benefited from it. They were taught by extraordinary faculty, advised by dedicated counselors and mentors, and supported by staff who prepared their exams, cleaned their classrooms, and made their campuses welcoming places in which to learn. And, this essential work of education was stitched together by administrators at all levels who, among other things, fought to make sure someone (anyone!) would fund it.
When I tell the story of MCC and when I hear from alums and their families who want to share their inspiring and humbling stories of their own experiences, it is all about the impact. An older student who worked in housekeeping for years to save money to become a nurse. A young man who went from brushes with the law to graduate from MCC and transfer to Howard and is on path to study international law. A young woman who came to MCC looking to find herself and went on to become a dean at Mount Holyoke. This is why we work, and their success arises largely because of how we work. It is what makes our work different; it is what makes our work important. This is how we spend each #DayOfHigherEd, and these are the real life stories that we should share. Each one represents a student full of potential who made it across the finish line because of the work we do. An investment in us is an investment in them. And, as we know, they are worthy.
Let me know. What has drawn you? What keeps you? What matters? Share your thoughts on the blog