Director’s Blog

So, about 2021…

by | Dec 17, 2021 | Director's Blog

Last year, I reflected on the dumpster fire that was 2020. For 2021, I struggle to describe it beyond “it happened.” We had some good times, we had some bad times, we had some times. But one thing that doesn’t change is my gratitude for you, the faculty. While I have offered plenty of advice these past two years, I have also learned so much from you – so many creative ways of teaching online, hybrid teaching, and just generally teaching during a pandemic.

I was thinking about new year’s resolutions for 2022. I achieved my goal of reading 100 books in 2021 (!) which might be the first time I’ve actually stuck with a resolution. What made this resolution different than years past? After some reflection I realized it’s because I chose to do more of something that brings me joy. So many of my resolutions in the past have been “shoulds” – I should eat better, I should exercise more, I should drink more water, etc. But these “shoulds” rarely last through February. Reading, on the other hand, brings me a lot of joy and is something I look forward to. My resolution felt easy because I was doing more of something that made me happy. I picked something joyful and said, let’s do more of that.

So for teaching in 2022, I say reflect on what parts of teaching bring you joy (or if joy is too strong, perhaps “decent amount of satisfaction” will suffice) and focus on expanding those parts. Faculty have been absolutely bombarded with advice, guidelines, policies, and practices these past two years. Put that all aside for a moment and choose something in your teaching for purely selfish reasons. In other words, less “shoulds”, more “wants” for a change. You’ve more than earned it.

See you in 2022 – I’ll smile beneath my mask.

In other news…

I did it! I read 100 books, and my top read for the year was The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune. It is funny, sweet, sad, and just everything you need from a book right now.

Andrea Aebersold

Andrea Aebersold

Director, Faculty Instructional Development

Andrea Aebersold is the Director of Faculty Instructional Development at University of California, Irvine. She earned a PhD in English and was an associate professor of teaching before coming to UCI. She specializes in active learning, evidence-based teaching, and reading mountains of books.