As this class winds down to an end, I find myself struggling with what to do with all of
the information that I’ve gathered. I don’t teach currently, won’t teach during my tenure
at Virginia Tech, won’t begin a PhD for at least a year, and won’t even begin to think
about applying for a faculty position (if I end up going that route) for several years! So
what do I do with everything I’ve just learned?
Well, I should use it every day, of course. We talk so much about specific applications
of learning in the classroom (understandably) that we lose sight a bit about how else
we can apply these skills. That a respectful environment that encourages learning isn’t
just valuable in a university, but in any workplace. That unofficial “contracts” about
standards of behavior are just as valuable when we’re talking about a public hearing as
when we’re talking about a syllabus. That the skills needed to begin a discussion are
just as critical when we’re trying to educate someone about our field.
Throughout this course I feel like the best benefits that are going to occur for me are perhaps the ones that aren’t the most explicit. While I may someday teach in a classroom, I certainty will teach in many other capacities, and I’m excited to see how these skills can improve those diverse opportunities for communication.