We are all just returning from our winter break—brief for some, a bit longer for others, a welcome respite for all. It is the start of a new semester, a time I always find exciting. We come together, faculty and staff, having had time to relax, to refresh our minds and spirits, about as prepared as we can be for the intense, gratifying—and sometimes even elating—months ahead. After weeks of an almost eerie silence in the college’s halls and corridors, the campus soon will be booming with our students, filled with energy, ambition and creativity.
One of my first engagements will be to greet students new to FIT. Each semester, I find them eager and optimistic, but also apprehensive about whether they will succeed in FIT’s special, but demanding environment. I try to assure them that they never would have been allowed to step through our doors without our confidence that they can thrive with us, and then I hope they will believe me. I know that they will be supported by staff and faculty whose commitment never flags. I know their minds will be opened, talents honed—they will be stretched in ways they had not imagined.
In fact, just the other day, I was reading proofs of the college’s upcoming Annual Report, which this year is entitled “Talking Teaching.” It is focused on six professors from all of our schools and a variety of disciplines. They were asked to talk about teaching—and from that came an illuminating and inspiring discourse on technology, creativity, literacy, pedagogy and more. Their reflections on how they can bring out the best in their students simply reinforced my own appreciation of the mission of education and all that the FIT faculty has to offer—and why the start of every new semester always portends such an exciting narrative waiting to unfold.