I've been in my Instructional Designer position for almost a year now. In that time, the knowledge that I've gained seems immense. I've learned so many new skills, but more importantly--I've become a better teacher.
There have been 12 course developments successfully completed during my time in this position. One of them is a course I co-developed with a colleague, and wearing both my "Instructor" and "Instructional Designer" hats during that time was certainly an experience. I'm looking ahead to a Winter 2014 semester with 12 more developments on my list. (Yes, that's 12 developments for the Winter 2014 semester alone.) There's a good chance that at my 18-month mark I'll be able to say that I've overseen 24 course developments.
I've completely re-vamped my Freshman Composition course again. This is in part due to a departmental change in textbooks, but a lot of my decision to alter the course and its structure has to do with my new way of thinking about instruction. I've found better ways to blend multimedia into the course, and I try to approach things with a clearer sense of the desired outcomes. I am also more transparent now about the goals I have for the course, broken down into units, weeks, and days. I like to think my students appreciate this.
You might be asking, "What about school?" Yes, I'm doing that, too. My many roles--mother, wife, teacher, designer--keep me busy, but I don't regret the choices I've made. My professional life is certainly more stable and structured than it's been for the majority of the career!
School is going really well. I find that Student me is incredibly anxious and possibly neurotic. My husband observed, "It's like Student you forgets everything that Teacher you knows to be true." I like what I'm learning about, though, and I've been energized, in a way, by some of the things my fellow students have presented during our first cohort course. I forgot how fun it is to see what other teachers are doing in their classrooms! It's invigorating, really, to see excellent teachers at work.
Year 1 is certainly ending in such a way that I'm looking forward to what's ahead for me in my career as an Instructional Designer. I don't think I can ask for more than that.