Clear Communication of Worth

Petersen here defies what many of us who have spent our lives in academia or adjacent to it in some way feel… the institutional impact of certain places on our careers, our self-judgements, and eventually our self-worth can be crucibles that define our lives for years. Seeing past that is indeed difficult work, especially when we want to confer respect for ourselves and our future students.

Worthy read here whether you’re a teacher, preacher, parent, or trying to figure things out at age 45 like me…

Ten Years Out of Academia – by Anne Helen Petersen:

When it comes to these students, the best gift we can give them — whether they are our children, our advisees, our peers, our employees, or just ourselves — is clear communication of worth. It’s spaces to fail with security and create and build community outside of resume-building. It’s ongoing assurance of their value: not because of their grades, or their ability to “work hard,” but simply because they are. It’s respect, which looks a lot different than surveillance. Creating these environments requires a lot of work, most of it invisible. It’s arduous in part because it requires refusing so many legible norms of “good” parenting or mentorship. But its eventual value is beyond measure.

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