Tuesday, May 15, 2018

After Conference Thoughts

submitted by Brigid Nulty - the Associate Dean of Teaching, Learning and Assessment at Shoreline Community College

It’s Friday afternoon and I’m back at my college, working, after two full days at the ATL Conference in Vancouver, Wa. It was my first time and I loved it for a bunch of reasons: chief among them the opportunity to hang out with with my Pro-D colleagues (go 5-Star!) and meet some amazing teacher-leaders from across the state.

There were many great learning moments, but here were two that really had an impact on me.
1.    Debra Jenkins’ metaphor of the “bridge” as a place we meet others to discuss and engage in conflict. She made the point that change is hard, equity is hard, and that conflict is an opportunity for both personal, professional, and institutional growth. We need to embrace it, and stay “on the bridge”. Not ignore or deny the ravine, not drive others to jump off, not jump off ourselves…

2.    I loved Bevyn Rowland’s pre-conference training! The takeaway? Making time to do healthy self-care is important, and should not be apologized for. We should be supporting it, championing it, for ourselves and for our colleagues. Why? High stress and exhaustion increase implicit bias and negativity bias. Both of these biases harm others. The ethical thing to do is to learn how to take care of ourselves so that we are more resilient and adaptable in the face of [inevitable] stress. Oh and by the way: healthy, long-lasting self-care practices are difficult! I loved this quote that was posted:
“What [they] don’t often tell you is that self-care can be completely terrible. Self-care includes a lot of adult-ing, and activities you want to put off indefinitely. Self-care sometimes means making tough decisions which you fear others will judge. Self-care involves asking for help; it involves vulnerability; it involves being painfully honest with yourself and your loved ones about what you need.” – Mawiyah Patten, on the website, The Mighty

Did you go to ATL? Have you been to some other conference recently? What made an impression on you?

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