I often complain about the negative issues in education, but this morning, I would like to take a moment to praise a few of the areas that are positive.
Today and tomorrow are Fall Break, so there are no classes on campus. However, in Sevier County, dual enrollment instructors are still required to teach in the high schools. Our first term for dual enrollment ended on Friday, and grades are due on Wednesday. Since I’m teaching that overload section this semester, grading time is scarce, so last week, I went to the dean of the Sevier County Campus and asked her if I could leave an assignment at the high school and use Monday and Tuesday to grade in my office. Without missing a beat, she told me that as long as the students were occupied at the high school, my plan was fine with her. She even expressed an appreciation for the volume of hours I’ve been putting in this Fall.
That’s one of the things I love about my job. I almost always feel as if I’m supported by the leadership of the college, and I know that most of them understand how hard we work on our end because they work just as hard on theirs. At the point when I went to talk to her, I hadn’t had a day off in three weeks, and I was feeling desperate for a little time to clear my head and relax. If she had said no to my request, I would’ve had to grade all weekend again to make sure their grades were in on time. Since she allowed me to use this time on Monday and Tuesday, I got to get caught up on mowing Saturday and then put my feet up on Sunday and rest. At the previous college where I was employed, the leadership wouldn’t have cared one iota about my well-being and probably would’ve considered me a derelict for even making such a request.
It’s nice to work for people who understand that we are human beings, not machines. It’s nice to know my dean appreciates my efforts. There’s no way to measure how far a little appreciation goes, especially in a profession that is often bombarded with criticism from every angle. So on this Monday, I’d like to thank Dean Frazier, Mr. Taylor, Dean Crawford, and Mr. McLain for everything they do to support us front-line grunts. Your efforts are appreciated as well.