Below, you will find a statement that I believe captures the essence of my professional practice. It was originally written while completing an assignment for AHE 599 – Spirituality in Higher Education, and also served as a conclusion to my graduate defense.
… [Failure] to instill self-awareness into students will, in my mind, lead to failure on our part as educators. If an individual is unable to recognize their own biases and tendencies, practice empathy or even articulate the core that drives them to pursue one path over another, then how will they function when facing an ethical dilemma in the workplace? When deciding to abandon one career in favor of another? When seeking balance? As student affairs practitioners and educators, we’re in a unique situation in that we are present in students’ lives when they are, for the first time in their lives (potentially), beginning to make their own decisions – independent of external influences. Facilitating opportunities for critical reflection and the development of self-awareness – for what I’d call spiritual growth – are essential in the greater scheme of ‘student development’ (Martin, 2012).