My first job in CE
Today was park district registration day for my girls. It brought me back the beginning of my path into CE at Harper College. When I started the program was called, Chill, but then got changed a few years later to InZone. I loved that job and the hundreds of people I worked with for the 9 years I was there.
I think what my mentor and boss, Debbie, taught me more than anything was how to treat people. The skills to program develop, budget, hire, train, and do day-to-day work came from on-the-job training and schooling. But how to be around people and treat them in a professional setting was never something I learned (I wish they would teach this in grade school).
Debbie taught me empathy and patience at work. She taught me the difference between leadership and management. More important than anything, she taught me how to love what I do and pass that passion onto others.
If you know me, you already know I am usually an optimistic and happy person. I have always been that way. Debbie helped me understand how to use it properly at work and how to deal with situations in a positive way.
I miss that job. I miss the teams I worked with and the kids who came through the program. It made me fall in love with Continuing Education and the happiness I still have today comes from the foundation those program aides, staff, instructors, students, and my mentor helped build for me.
When did the CE bug bite you?
Meni Sarris, Ed.D. co-founded SpurCG. He leads client work in areas of program development and the administration of CE units.