I admire the student who turns in partially complete work, with a note telling me that it’s not complete, that he wanted to do more, but that it was all he had been able to pull off in the end. I admire the student who writes on her exam that her answer is wrong but that she has been unable to find her mistake. I admire the colleague who shares his assumptions, his choices, his motivations. I admire the colleague who tells me how they’d do things differently than I have.
My pledge: I will strive to speak the truth compassionately.
I admire my online students who help me to maintain the integrity of the online format—the ones who remind their peers that discussion of the quiz should wait until after it has closed. I admire my colleagues who do what they believe in—even though it leads them to make different choices than I would make.
My pledge: I will seek out the best in my colleagues and students. I will strive to identify their successes.
I admire the student who trusts that I have his best interest at heart. I trust that my colleagues and dean wish all the best for me, as I wish all the best for them. I trust in my belief that when a person is well cared for, they make the world a better place.
My pledge: I will trust that my colleagues and my students are doing the best that they can and that they know that I am too.
I admire the student who comes to class, open to whatever new experience or approach she encounters. I admire the colleague who does the same…the colleague who listens and reflects and considers before deciding whether they like a new idea.
My pledge: I will strive to be open with my students and my colleagues as well as to the changes that happen with time and place.
I admire the student who can discuss his progress transparently: “I’m completing all of the exercises, but not the activities, because I have limited time and I seem to get more from the exercises.” I admire the colleague who is transparent with her motivations: “I wasn’t getting enough sleep last quarter, so I decided to give credit for participation rather than grade the quizzes.”
My pledge: I will strive to be transparent; and if I fail, then I ask that you give me another chance by asking for clarification.
I admire the student who can forgive herself, because then she won’t be held back by guilt. She will forgive me and her peers when we have a bad day and she won’t use us as an excuse to give up learning. For all these same reasons, I admire the colleague who forgives himself and his colleagues for their imperfections.
My pledge: I will give my students many opportunities to show what they understand and what they can do. My grading plan will allow them to recover easily from a bad day or from a previous misconception. I will forgive myself and my colleagues for our bad days as well.
I admire the student who practices finding balance in their life, engaging in practices that can be sustained throughout the quarter, the year, their education, their life. I admire the colleague who tries for the same.
My pledge: I will strive for a balanced life and I will encourage that in my students and in my colleagues.