Prompted by a session at PanSIG 2023, this presentation will explore the importance of examining our academic and career paths. Looking at our CVs may be something we only do when we seek new employment; however, reflecting deeply on them may help us to recall the goals, values, and influences of those past periods of our lives. Those past events could shape our current practices in EFL education. After 15 years of teaching, using prompts to guide the examination of my academic and career path, I examined the influences of my academic past, former mentors, profound work experiences, and activities outside of work as a method to aid in enriching my practice. Using Desjarlais and Smith’s (2011) Reflection Methodology Steps to process my academic and career path, I recognized the benefits of having dialogue with my past self and my current self. As a result, I can truly appreciate the progress I have made professionally and academically. Though we may seek new learning experiences or jobs to bring excitement into our teaching, a deeper examination of the past and recalling what was important at that time can be a new way to develop our practice. It is the aim of this presentation to share how to do so as a relevant and practical way to recalibrate our values and increase motivation about our practice.
Compile CVs and order chronologically. / Review your professional networking site such as LinkedIn. Ask yourself:
- What were my interests, goals, values?
- Who influenced me? Why?
- How would that “past” me view “current” me? Would they be happy, sad, proud, disappointed, etc? Why?
- How can “current” me be influenced by “past” me? What would positively influence my practice?
Desjarlais, M. & Smith, P. (2011, p. 12). A comparative analysis of reflection and self-assessment. International Journal of Process Education, 3(1), 3-18. Retrieved from https://www.ijpe.online/2011/reflection.pdf
Keywords: academic paths, career paths, reflection
Devon Arthurson has been working in Japan in the field of EFL since 2008. As of April 2023, she teaches at Hakuoh University in Tochigi. Previously, she taught at Rikkyo University in Tokyo and high schools in Osaka. She earned her Master of Arts in Integrated Studies in 2017 from the University of Athabasca and her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Manitoba in 2008. Her current teaching and research interests include fostering learner autonomy, teacher reflections, and inter-cultural elements in the learning environment. Her volunteer activities include poverty alleviation and awareness-raising about human trafficking.