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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Still musing...

When I started this blog eight (OMG, has it really been EIGHT?!?) years ago, I didn't really have a plan - I just wanted to try out this blogging thing because I was thinking about having my students do it and figured that doing it myself would be the best way to learn how it all works. Over the years, I've largely used the blog to chronicle what I was doing in the classroom, mostly as a way of just reflecting and thinking about what was happening (I've always been a big journaler), but also with the thought that maybe by doing my thinking 'out loud', it might be helpful to someone, somewhere. Along the way, I feel like I've gotten to know many more economists who care about teaching and have felt part of a community that supports and reflects my own academic values, and I really can't express how awesome that has been!

But now I feel like I'm at a bit of a crossroads. My position as Director of SDSU's Center for Teaching and Learning has led me in a slightly different direction - I'm still thinking about teaching all the time but now it's less about teaching economics (especially since I'm in the econ classroom a lot less) and more about pedagogy in general. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure if this is the right path for me - I have always said that I don't just love to teach, I specifically love to teach economics, and I'm currently trying to figure out if I'll be able to bring the same passion to faculty development work around teaching in general. But those who follow the blog's Facebook page have seen that articles about pedagogy and college teaching in general have caught my attention lately much more than articles about applications of economics. And maybe that's OK, since I assume university economists reading this blog will still find those sorts of links useful.

But I'm trying to figure out what this new path means for this blog. I obviously haven't been as active here as I used to be and that isn't necessarily because I haven't had things I wanted to write about but more that I haven't known if they would be appropriate here. Is it 'OK' for me to write here about the issues I'm having adjusting to life as a faculty developer when that doesn't really have anything to do with teaching economics? A part of me thinks, 'hey, it's MY blog, I should write whatever I want' but another part of me feels sort of responsible to those who come here to read about teaching economics. I've thought about starting over with a whole different blog but the economist in me feels like that would, in some sense, be abandoning a really important aspect of who I am. I've thought about re-branding but, well, that just seems like a hassle.

So what to do? Is it cool if I start writing more here about my experiences as a faculty developer without worrying so much about the economics side of things? Or if that's what I want to do, should I do that somewhere else, or re-brand? Some of you have been following this blog for a while - some of you know me in real life and some only on the interwebs but either way, I'd really appreciate your thoughts...