Solving problems

I like to solve problems.  It’s basically how I got involved in this whole tech thing in the first place.  You need your WordPerfect 3.1 document in a Microsoft Word 5.1 format? I’ll figure it out.  You want to create an animation of the solar system? Cool! Let’s figure it out.  You need data on how many people click that apply button? No problem, let’s figure that out.

Those are techy problems, but I also like solving people problems. Students who are struggling, faculty who express opposition to an idea, those are interesting problems to solve, too.  Or bigger problems, like what education should look like in 2020 and if we want education to look like that, then how do we start building something so that we can get there?  And that, I think is where I’m headed with my new position I’ve taken on, Interim Dean of Academic Affairs.  It’s somewhat undefined, but it loosely means I, along with the division directors, department chairs and the Head of School, am helping to solve the problems that we may face or challenges we set for ourselves.

While I’ve been a little skeptical about the path I’ve set myself on, I do find that I enjoy tackling these larger problems.  It’s like a know that need undoing.  I’m lucky that I’m surrounded by a lot of smart people who can give me advice, and who have great ideas of their own.  I feel like we’re in this together.  So we’ll see how this goes for the next year.  It should be an interesting journey.

7 Replies to “Solving problems”

  1. This sounds like an exciting direction for you, given the interests you’ve expressed in the blog over the years.

    But, is this a position you take on in addition to all your other responsibilities? Or will your work life shift in other directions?

    I wonder, because I see this as one of the issues with teachers who take on larger responsibilities is that they come in addition to all the original work. Ultimately, I just don’t see how that works.

  2. Good question, bj. Nope, I’ll be dropping a lot. I’ll cut back to two classes at most and shift responsibility of all the Academic Tech stuff to others. I’ll still be department chair for now, just because our department is new. The only one with seniority teaches lower school. I think she’d be a great department chair, but she doesn’t yet know the inner workings of upper school yet. It’s possible this position will become full time. Very much depends on what direction the school goes after next year. We have a new head coming in and other transitions.

  3. Change is always a problem but this makes change good. Too many time we get in a comfort zone career-wise and never challenge ourselves once in the zone. You may find something you have missed or, as in Alfred’s case, something you want to continue missing. I have never been an administrator in education but after having been on various committees and curriculum review groups I have to agree with Alfred, kids are more fun.

  4. Sounds like an exciting change indeed–that kind of dean position is one of the only administrative positions that sounds attractive to me, so I’m really hoping that we have one someday (and maybe it will be me!). We will have a new head in fall of 2016, so I’m sure there are many changes ahead for us as an institution…..

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