Maybe it’s just me, but February feels like the month when winter will last forever. Every year around this time I’m reminded of how much I miss sitting outside, driving with the windows down, and grilling out for dinner. Of course, all of these things can still be done even in the cold winter months, but they are so much more enjoyable when you don’t have to worry about your eyelids freezing shut.
With this depth of winter, comes the inevitable feelings of gloominess and restlessness. These are the times when I feel as if one day is exactly like the next and life will go on this way forever. These slumps have an overwhelming effect on my overall contentedness in everything I do, including the work I do.
For those of you nodding along with me, I’d like to propose a solution to the pessimism that you’re currently feeling. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, let’s take some time to rediscover the amazing things about being a university instructor. Read through the following list and remind yourself that you, as an educator, should be valued—not just be others, but by yourself as well.
To give you a jump start, here are some of the great things about being a university instructor:
- You make a difference in the lives of students and other faculty members every day (even when you don’t realize it).
- You work in an environment in which constant learning takes place, both for you and for your students.
- You are able to build positive relationships with students and colleagues.
- Whether you’ve thought about it or not, you make a magnificent role model for others through demonstrating knowledge about your subject matter and care for your students.
- Learning is fun!
- You know those moments when a struggling student finally “gets it?” Yeah, those are cause for celebration.
- You get to witness students graduate from you course work and move on to use those skills in other courses, in their careers, and throughout their lives.
- Sometimes students laugh at your jokes. (Albeit, a small success, but a success nonetheless.)
- You get students who look to take your classes in the future, or they recommend your courses to other students—all because they know you’re a great instructor.
- In your profession, no day is ever the same, and every day is a new adventure.
Don’t stop here! Keep adding to this list with some specific thoughts of your own concerning the great things about being you, and keep the love flowing.
Happy Valentine's Day to a great instructor!
Written By: Jessica Moser