As I have mentioned in the last few columns, change is constant here at Texas State Technical College. And since the last article, even more change is underway. The new catch phrase here is “Disruptive Change.” I have decided to go back to the classroom, full-time, as an instructor and step away from the department chair role. Being an instructor was the reason I initially came to TSTC almost 20 years ago and it always has been where I have been most comfortable. It has been an honor to serve as department chair for the Biomedical Equipment Technology program for the past 10 plus years. In that role, I still was able to teach two classes per semester. But now I feel like it is time to return to my initial purpose and participate where I feel I can contribute the most to future biomedical equipment technicians.
In the new way of things, the statewide department chair is mostly administrative and removed from the classroom. He or she is over multiple departments on multiple campuses and is basically gathering data, approving leave, syllabi, and budgets, and doing evaluations of faculty and staff. In other words, more of a political player instead of a producer and that bothered me from the time I took the role in September of 2016.
What I have enjoyed most at TSTC is actually watching the change in students over the year and a half they spend here and seeing them succeed in landing their first position as a BMET. That is where “the rubber meets the road” and that is why I decided to return to the classroom full time.
There are, of course, a couple of other, more selfish reasons. In my other life, I teach motorcycle safety for Harley Davidson a few times each month and that involves a few hours on Thursday and Friday evenings (as well as the following weekends, of course). Traveling between campuses might have made this part of my life difficult, if not impossible. And this part of my life is something I am not ready to give up. I am also pursuing some entrepreneurial ventures. Although it is too early to publically announce anything, I am excited about these opportunities and where they might lead. The time is right.
I plan to continue to write for TechNation (for as long as they will let me) and to be more heavily involved in the HTM community and attend more meetings at the North Texas Biomedical Association, MD Expo and AAMI. Speaking of that, the AAMI annual conference will be in Texas this year and it represents another fantastic opportunity for our students to meet and greet with industry leaders.
In a way, it is like taking a step backward (or what would seem like a step backward) in order to take two steps forward. I was reminded of this and inspired by the words of a retired leader in the field, Mr. Brian Montgomery, of Crest Services fame. Brian has a new book out … “The Nice Entrepreneur: How Leading from The Heart Can Make All the Difference.” I have known Brian for years but I never knew his story. If you are looking for inspiration, this is the book to read. Check it out at: theniceentrepreneur.com. I highly recommend it.
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