We think of colleges as places where students do all the learning, but, in fact, faculty and staff are constantly learning as well. We learn from our students, we learn from our mistakes, we learn from conferences and professional journals, and we learn from each other. I am constantly getting good ideas from my colleagues. Just today, my colleague Sarah showed me how to do something cool with the computer in my classroom, and another colleague showed me the model essay she wrote for ENG 111. I’ve even been known to pull a good idea right out of the copier or printer (with permission, of course!).
The apex of collegial learning, however, occurred this past Tuesday at the Faculty and Staff Professional Development Day. Building on a long tradition of cancelling classes so faculty can take a day to engage in professional development, this time we opened the day to the entire college–and it turned out to be even better than before. Fifty-seven people volunteered their time and energy to lead forty-five different sessions. The topics ranged from mindfulness to Banner to moral inquiry to Google to molecular modeling. The excitement and expertise of NMC faculty and staff was on full display. I feel lucky to be surrounded by people so dedicated to learning–to our students’ learning but also to our own life-long professional learning. Thank you to everyone who spent the day learning and sharing with each other!