Portrait of a Graduate Administrator Spotlight: Adaptable - GES Principal Travis Morris
April 12, 2023
I do not like change. Well…that’s not true, it is the idea of change that often causes me anxiety. When connected with true purpose and productivity, changes in ideas, policies, and procedures can bear great fruit. However, knowing that does not always make change easier…especially when change happens to us rather than because of us.
As I reflect on the significant changes in my own life – parents’ divorce, loss of loved ones, college, new career, change in career, family – I quickly realize that, while I did not always come out of it unscathed, the requirement to adapt to these new circumstances was part of a journey of growth. From my parents’ divorce, I learned forgiveness. From the untimely death of a dear friend, I truly learned how to grieve. My unexpected topsy-turvy college journey taught me the realities of adulting. Marriage and the birth of two beautiful daughters, arguably the most significant change in my life, brought the greatest shift in my personal routine and structure. In all of these events, my priorities and philosophies on so many topics and ideas took on new versions of their own. The growth that occurred, and the newly accepted lifestyles and ideas, was a direct result of adapting to the change. Divorce, death, career evolution…these are changes that happened to me and were outside my sphere of control. Had I chosen not to adapt, the changes – while inevitable – would have been even more anxiety-ridden and difficult. By adapting and adjusting to new ideas and routines, I was able to move forward and gain new insight on life.
GES is experiencing its own evolution of changes. Like change that occurs for individuals, some changes happen to us and some because we seek them. Without a doubt, the population of GES will continue to increase. Aside from the physical logistics of growth, we will need to adapt to growing diversity and larger numbers within the building. Meanwhile, we are at the behest of the state and federal leaders. who have their own ideas of what education must look like. Thus, we have to adapt. Whether we like the idea of growth or legislative requirements does not matter. What DOES matter is our responsibility to adjust to the changing priorities and roles in an ever-evolving world of ambiguity. The period around the recent pandemic certainly taught us this. The global pandemic required us to understand the diverse views and perspectives of the situation, and to experience both tremendous successes and failures, in order to be able to provide a quality educational product in a highly stressful and unique environment. Students’ learning needs, social development, and their life experiences are different in the post-COVID environment. We have to adapt our practices and approaches – perhaps even adapt our own pedagogies – so that we can appropriately support our young charges in laying their foundation for Learning for Life.