Friday, June 4, 2010
For most ASPer's, summer is here. Depending on your roleat your school, this may be a quiet time to catch up on reading and planning for the upcoming year, or it may be the beginning of your busy season, if you are involved in bar prep. Regardless of your role, be sure to take some time to reflect on your hits and misses during this past school year. Re-evaluate what programs you want to continue, update, change, or throw out for the upcoming year. Be sure you take some time to re-evaluate your program for yourself. We spend so much time justifying our programs to our schools, that we sometimes forget that everything is a work-in-progress, and not all programs are meant to survive year after year. It's okay to have a program that flops, sometimes in spite of your best efforts. Use your misses as an opportunity to re-evaluate the needs of your students. Sometimes students change faster than we do, and our programs are just not reflecting their current needs. Sometimes a program misses and there is no explanation why it did not work. The key is not to be afraid of failure, and not to take successes for granted. Sometimes it seems as if law school curriculum is set in stone (and from the Stone Age) but ASP needs to be flexible and adapt to the changing needs of our students.
If you do have some spare time this summer, there are a handful of new or revised ASP books on the market that could be helpful to you. I suggest everyone take a look at Carolina Academic Press (CAP) website and check out their new titles, as well as West and Aspen. Don't be afraid to ask for a desk copy; publishers offer them so you can check out their books and recommend them to students.
Even if you are involved in bar prep, take some time for yourself to recharge your batteries. Staycation, vacation, or just a couple of days off--everyone needs a break.
Everyone should take advantage of the wonderful conferences being offered this summer and early fall. As always, LSAC has some amazing conferences planned, as well as the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning conference in Topeka. (I am an presently out of the conference loop because of time constraints and budget cuts, so I may be missing some.) It is wonderful to catch up with colleagues and share successes and horror stories (we all got 'em!)
For the next couple of weeks I will be leading orientation sessions for incoming freshman, and then I am off to teach 4th, 5th, and 6th graders at Stanford for a couple of weeks (my version of a vacation), so my posts may be a bit more sparse than usual. Here is to wishing everyone a wonderful, healthy, relaxing summer! (RCF)