I’ve previously referred to my concern about asking teachers to not be just teachers but also administrators and everything else. This week it has become apparent through discussions that academics are teachers, researchers, administrators, staff managers, policy officers, information technology officers, and, well, human beings.
The interesting thing to me is that this list is a lot to ask. The happiest thing is that I get to support these various roles and work out longer term strategies to maybe reduce these roles per person, or scaffold programs/work flows to reduce the burden. My concern is that I won’t be able to help at all and if I do, in the mean time these people are working hard in isolation on their own solutions and may feel totally neglected.
I got lost in the paperwork this week. Next week I need to get back out there and talk to people. Find their solutions that are working and apply them to other situations and offer alternatives to them that are working elsewhere. My aim is not to come up with anything new. The academics are experts and have been surviving a very long time without me. What they are doing is working – we just need to share what works so we can fix areas that aren’t working well, or at all.
This situation in the university applies in high schools too. Teachers are trained to teach, but then they have to do everything else as well. Where is the training for that? How do we manage expectations? After all, it’s all about expectations.