In reflecting on the differences I’ve observed between novices and experts in my field, I realize that I exist with a foot in both of those worlds. I have been in my current position for 10 years (13 if you count grad school), though I certainly don’t consider myself an expert, I am no novice either. And while I bring transferable skills and learning experiences to this coursework, it is in many ways a whole new arena for me. Here, I am a novice.
These dual roles created in me a very empathetic reader of the Benander (2009) article. I related to the idea that “the change from expert to novice is more personally and emotionally affecting’ (p. 38}. Where my current and new field bump create an interesting dichotomy for me as well. I am suddenly taking on a novice role, in some ways, with colleagues that I have been working with for years in my capacity as ‘expert’. I assume that when a person becomes quite accomplished at being a novice, is when you realize that you are suddenly…not a novice anymore, and moving up the ranks to join the mostly competent.
I also think that the return to novice is different from other perspectives as a returning student. Having already been through the developmental growth stages of the first time college student, those stages are slightly different the second (or third) time through. It seems like adapting to the rhythms of being a new student has been much faster this time around.
Which brings me to my personal learning network. While brainstorming this week, I realize that my current PLN resources are already pretty extensive though they will need to be re-cultivated from a my new angle as novice. I also identified some gaps in the outlet of new ideas and brainstorming challenges through a virtual network. Many of my current resources do not use social networking tools for exchanging ideas. But that is what this online community is all about, right? I’m looking forward to troubleshooting solutions and bouncing new ideas off this class cohort as we launch into the semester and beyond and take our PLN to the next level.