Career insights

I have quite a few thoughts, fresh after attending the MOE Workplan Seminar. I have quite a few blogs which I don’t categorise very well, so with them overlapping in ideas, I hesitated where to post this entry into, but decided this is where it should be, in case it shall help any job-seeker or young professional.

Firstly, I’m very grateful for this opportunity to attend this Seminar meant for Principals and Vice-Principals. It’s an opportunity even many teachers do not get. It just helped me physically overcome a fear I’ve always had towards figures of authority. My first job, basically just helped me peel off layers of insecurity and misunderstandings I have. First, towards teachers, and now towards principals.

As I sat in and joined the discussion, I realised, they struggle with the very same issues, ponder the very same thoughts and talk like ordinary people. I guess, you might find my realisation coming in a little late. But all my educational life, no person of authority, except a few dedicated teachers, have ever crossed this boundary and interacted with me on the same level before. So this is entirely eye-opening to me. My fear seem to vanish when I realise they were ordinary people trying to make a difference in the lives of people through their careers, just like many of us.

And I got to talk to this individual who shared about how there are two types of graduate student paths. The first kind, is one who finds a good established Professor and just follow in his path, the other who has to carve out a research on his own, without the same guidance and resources. (Something like that) And he commended the latter, saying how one really learns through this path.

This greatly encouraged me, because the path I have taken in life, is the roundabout way. I guess, I’m really not alone in this. And it’s a path with its own excitement, own pains, own way of grooming an individual. It’s not well trodden upon, it’s definitely longer and slower, but it’s a good path to take nonetheless. We don’t always have to reach our destination using the shortest displacement.

This individual is so experienced, with so much under his belt, yet he spoke to me kindly like a father and teacher to impart what he knew to a young person fresh out of school. I was very touched by that. There was no airs at all. 🙂 I wish when I’m at that age I can speak to youngsters with that type of kindness and tone.

Another individual I met was also very down-to-earth though a Professor. And just very simply gave advice also out of his abundance in experience. So I learned from him that content knowledge is as important as pedagogical knowledge in educational research.

I’m touched by the kindness of strangers. All these chance encounters just opened my eyes to possible career progression in my line. (Also yesterday, I met a colleague on the bus who talked to me about life after being a R.A., my trip to Chicago to attend a workshop and the HOD of CRPP’s talk to the RAs) It all came in this week. It all changed my perspective that my job is an end in itself. It made me realise I have a long journey ahead of me. It made me think, I really have to think and start charting my next steps. I cannot just live as if my current job is an end in itself.