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Friday, 21 June 2019

Moving On

Seneca@York
Seneca@York

I never intended to stay this long. It was just meant to supplement my income as I continued to travel and build a photography business. But teaching at college became part of my life. It grabbed me. I started out teaching just one 3-hour class per week. Instantly I was hooked.

It’s magic when it goes well in a classroom. I walk out of class with way more energy than when I went in. The best students push you. They challenge you to be better. Students that are struggling create opportunities to look at a topic from a different perspective. They make you clarify and break things down into smaller bites. I have had the privilege of walking with them, learning from them, and hopefully inspiring them to continue on their own path. There have been highs and lows over my 24-year teaching career. But I can’t think of a more rewarding and enjoyable job than what I have had at Seneca College.

The college has been such a big part of my life. I met my wife Lori there. I began as a student in 1978 in the Electronic Technology program. After 4 years of kicking and screaming, I finally managed to graduate. It is kind of ironic I ended up teaching. I was such a mediocre student. But in the end, it was a great foundation and I went on to have a successful career in the high-tech industry.

The last 24 years I’ve spent teaching at various campuses. I remember my interview with the academic vice president for my full time position. He asked me when my time was up at Seneca, what did I want to be remembered for? I thought for a moment and then I said, “I just want to be remembered as someone who showed up every day ready to teach and give their all. Nothing more, nothing less”.

He smiled and said, “Keep your focus on your students.” I hope I have lived up to that.

In the end, I have decided to move on so I can live without a timetable. When you teach, you are limited to the summer months for travel. When you are a nature photographer some of the best times for travel are spring, fall and winter. I have many unfinished projects on the go and I’m looking forward to working and traveling during the off seasons.

Ron and Lori at the Arctic Circle sign in the Yukon
Ron and Lori at the Arctic Circle sign in the Yukon

It will be a big adjustment. I’m sure I will wake up in early September in a panic wondering where my timetable is…
Seneca Avenue Sign
Seneca Avenue Sign

It’s been a great ride!

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Marta said...

24 years already?? I've heard you were a great teacher, so mission accomplished. I hope you have a wonderful retirement

21 June 2019 at 12:40  
Blogger Tammy said...

Excited for you Ron, but sad for the students. They are losing an amazing mentor.

Tammy

21 June 2019 at 13:44  
Blogger Beck said...

Beautifully said. They were lucky to have you! Have a happy, productive retirment!

22 June 2019 at 18:31  

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