Change is Situational: Part 1

Submitted by Sam Aylett-Streitburg on Fri, 05/20/2022 - 16:08

“Change is situational. Transition, on the other hand, is psychological. It is not those events but rather the inner reorientation or self-redefinition that you have to go through in order to incorporate any of those changes into your life.”

William Bridges


The last month has been rather hectic and full big life changes; exciting changes. I started my new role as International Programme Lead at the Berlin Study Centre on the 1st of May. I married my partner last month on the 27th of April, having proposed only 6 years ago to the day. And, my wife and I are expecting our first child, well, any moment now. Of course, life is full of changes, but these changes are decidedly different. In fact, they’re not changes so much as they’re transitions. As organization consultant William Bridges (1933-2013) has deftly explained, transitions are a reorientation or redefinition of self, a way of “incorporating changes into your life.” So, to incorporate these changes into my life, I have begun to think about who I am as a husband, and a father, and as I begin to consolidate my vocation as an educator. I’ll take each in turn.

In my new role as International Programme Lead, I am responsible for student success and experience across our suite of undergraduate and foundation courses here at the Berlin Study Centre. As an Academic Skills Tutor prior to this, I was in a privileged position. I was able to spend a great deal of time with students, on a one-to-one basis, learning about their challenges and aspirations, successes, and frustrations. I also spent a lot of time with our associate lecturers and full-time academic staff. From this I was able to develop a holistic view of the challenges facing our students and I am energised by the challenge to make things better for them. After all, teaching and education have long been important to me. I’ve spent many years teaching across secondary schools and HE institutions in the UK. I’ve seen students left behind, neglected, and ignored, but I’ve also had the good fortune of working with institutions that prioritise access and inclusion. Arden is one of these institutions. MORE

My role as International Programme Lead is well-defined. Expectations have been made clear, and I have my own KPIs, not to speak of the students, they are, after all they’re are our real bosses; their success if our success, and their failures are our failures. My role as a husband is not so well defined, though I know who my boss is.


Editor's note: This essay was interrupted by a long-awaited and joyful trip to the hospital. The whole Library and Academic Skills Team wish mum and dad all the love and congratulations in the world.

Reflective Writing