Wednesday, February 19, 2020
I think we all do. It has been that kind of week. I think we are all there, the bar exam is next week, it's the middle of winter, first year students want to meet about Fall grades, and most of us are teaching and doing workshop. So, it's a crazy time of year.
Today, as I am putting together a workshop for first years, and a class on the MPT, I realized that I was only able to do both of these things with the help of fellow ASPers. Literally, I was using parts of their powerpoints and handouts. I mean, 80% of my outlining presentation was the property of other ASPers. And that's what I love about this community. We share resources, tangible outlines, PowerPoints, syllabi and and so forth. Email an individual, or ask on the listserv, and you shall receive. Everyone is happy to share their work product without blinking.
Our conferences are also great for these tangible resources. I feel like each presentation is a collection of tangible things we can all take back to the classroom. (Speaking of conferences, remember that there are regional conferences coming up in TX (March 6th), Chicago (March 13th), and NY (March 20th), not to mention our annual conference in Washington, D.C. in May).
And then there are the intangibles, knowing I have people that get it. Knowing that there are people I can count on. Knowing I can email people in any state for a question about their state character and fitness or that they are willing to help one of my students. Knowing that they will listen, vent, share ideas, help brainstorm. Or even agree to write a book with you! To all of you, you are my people, my network, my village. And, as a colleague likes to say, "Teamwork makes the dream work."
To that end I encourage people to reach out. Maybe you're new, or feel like you can't reach out. I certainly felt like the new kid at my very first conference. I didn't feel confident reaching out to ask people for their syllabi or materials. But do it. We all encourage you to reach out. We are all happy to share ideas, advice, or actual materials. The AASE leadership is also diligently working on making sure our website has a section for materials from conferences, and otherwise, and we are getting there!
I also had to ask for help in a different way today. I had a health issue that wasn't going away, and had to cancel class. Something I hate doing. I was on the fence, wondering if I should just suck it up and push through. But my friend and Dean of Students insisted that she drive me home, while lecturing me on self care. The lecture was well deserved, and I needed to hear it.
So, while all of us are in a potentially stressful week, don't be afraid to ask for help. Don't stop practicing self care. And don't hesitate to email the listserv asking for something!