Life is Not a Straight Path
Life is not a straight path. That is my biggest takeaway from conducting interviews for the STCC Library’s podcast. Over the course of the podcast’s last few episodes, I’ve had the chance to ask Springfield Technical Community College professors about the journey which led them to teaching here. I find it extremely comforting to know that these professors all took many turns to get to where they are today. In my experience, the community here at STCC understands that life is a winding road, and we try to help each other along that path.
The Importance of Flexibility
The most recent episode of the podcast features engineering Professor Fahad Khan. He began his career working at an oil and gas company, then worked in HVAC. Meanwhile, he studied several different aspects of engineering, considering his options. It was only during his doctorate program that he discovered he had a knack for teaching. He took a job as a Teacher’s Assistant, which unexpectedly opened up a new direction for him to consider. Eventually, he interviewed at STCC, and found it to be a good fit.
In addition to teaching here, Professor Khan has taken several classes at STCC, from piano, to psychology, to history, and many more. Taking classes allowed him to not only expand his knowledge beyond his own field. It also offered examples of approaches to teaching. I imagine that this experience makes him better able to understand the students’ perspective, since he has been on both sides of the classroom.
Through these experiences, Professor Khan discovered the importance of flexibility as an educator. The flexibility to meet students where they are and address their unique needs, as well as the flexibility to keep up with advancements in your field. Lessons which worked ten years ago might not be as applicable today. I think we can all apply this insight to our careers, inside and outside of education. Workplaces are constantly changing. The ability to be flexible and adapt to changes might be one of the most useful skills to have.
Past and Future Episodes
The Library’s Podcast began in October 2021. The first two episodes explored the importance of inquisitiveness, and how to cultivate and attitude of curiosity.
The podcast is intended to be a space for all members of our community to connect and share their stories. In the future, I hope to have STCC students and alumni on the podcast. If you are a member of the STCC community and would like to tell your story, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All are welcome!