Friday, February 16, 2007

My Planning Table

One of the classes I am taking this semester is called Program Planning and its purpose is to discuss, in detail, the steps of program planning, the people involved in the planning, and the inevitable politics that permeate the planning process. Consequently, the readings and class discussions have caused me to think about the planning process outside the realm of planning programs for adult learners and to apply it to my personal life. The catch phrase of one of my textbooks is "planning table" - everything centers on what each individual brings to the "planning table". Today, I was talking with a new (and soon to be old) co-worker when she brought a fresh perspective to my life "planning table". She summarized why I am not enjoying one of my jobs: I like working with students who are in specialized and focused fields (e.g. professional orchestral musicians or engineers) and while I really enjoy the specialization of the students I work with (Anesthetists) I do not enjoy the clinical atmosphere because the emphasis is less on academic support services and more on the business side of running an education program; consequently, I feel as though I am not properly utilizing my skills to help the students and am thus dissatisfied. Upon reflection, her summary is accurate and going forth knowing this will help me tailor my future job search. In the programming planning process, we would consider this to be a conflict of interest between individual values and organizational values and it would be considered a political barrier to be overcome before the planning process could successfully move forward.

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