As I wrap up the Spring semester, I keep thinking about the learning process and how personal this is for each student. This semester, I asked students to write the following reflection:
- What are the top 3 things you learned this semester?
- How do you plan to make use of this learning in the future?
- What is your advice to the students who will take this course next semester?
I usually assign something like this at the end of each semester. Sometimes it is a longer paper. This was assigned as an in-class, short answer assignment. Students are not necessarily fond of reflection papers, but they do seem to enjoy giving advice to future students! Many students wrote about transformation this semester. We spend a good deal of time talking about “Becoming a Professional” in the field, and what that process means to all of us, myself included. This year, students did a fine job of describing how they had changed over the semester.
One theme that emerged, is that many students expressed regret that they started taking classes later in their career rather than earlier. I want to honor that feeling for a moment because I think it is a natural part of the transformational process. Don’t we all wish, at some point, that we knew then what we know now? What I hope for students is that they never give up on the learning process. As we learn, we realize there is so much more to learn! This is part of the process and I hope to convey to students that I am in the same boat with them – this is a lifelong journey we are on.
It’s never too late to be who you might have been.
– George Eliot