Related: Continuing Education, Diane Miranda

Fall Changes

 
 

Leaves 1On September 23, the season of autumn officially began. It didn’t feel like it the first few days but now as I look around I can see that a few trees are changing colors. Each morning, I need to be sure to check the weather so I can pick out the appropriate clothes and outerwear. Everywhere you go, restaurants are advertising maple, pumpkin spice, or butternut squash seasonal items. Fall is a time for change as we transition from long hot summer days into the dark, cold winter months.

GourdsI was never really a fan of change. The thought of being thrust into the unknown is always discomforting to me. The changes of fall are, at least, somewhat predictable. Some of the changes in life that we experience are our own choices while others come out of nowhere and we just have to face them. Change affects people in different ways. Some welcome it and some are just like me and feel like a fish out of water. Have you ever introduced a new method in class or asked your students to do an assignment a different way than you have all year? Some students will be energized by the idea of something new while others show anxiety from being asked to step outside their comfort zone.

I think in so many instances, change is both good and necessary. Pushing students outside their comfort zone can help them learn to think outside the box and develop some great critical thinking skills. When a teacher changes his or her teaching techniques and methods, he or she might reach a struggling student. Our change to online courses wasn’t always met with positive feedback but now that so many more teachers are able to take a professional development course that fits into their schedule, we’ve realized what a positive impact that change has had on teachers both nearHawaii and far (we had our first interest email from Hawaii just this week)!

Some change can be bad. Death, divorce and illness are changes that have great influence on a person. It’s important to understand all the factors that might be causing a student to suddenly start doing poorly in class. Teachers need to find support from their colleagues when going through some tough times. Counselors are available in schools for a reason and students and teachers who are going through some tough changes should be encouraged to seek help.

Some change can be bittersweet. In fact, the office of Continuing Education is experiencing that kind of change right now. After 10 years of dedicated service to Trinity Washington University and thousands of area teachers, our director, Erin McHenry, has moved on from our program and our city to be nearer to her family. It is a change that is a great loss but I cannot help but be happy for Erin’s opportunity. Though we will carry on without her, it is a change that will not quickly be forgotten.

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Contact the Office of Continuing Education by email at ContinuingEd@trinitydc.edu, or by phone at (202) 884-9300. Fax registration materials to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on our secure fax line: (202) 884-9084.