I made the decision to finish my career working in community colleges. I was asked why. Here is a summary of my response. These institutions prepare minds and bodies for new opportunities. There are several aspects these school that are appealing to me as an educator and as a teacher of teachers.
First, students who attend these schools are among the most engaged and motivated students of the many I have encountered in more than 30 years working in education. They may be those who have been marginalized by other schools, they may have not found the right field of study, they may be returning to the classroom for the first time in many years. They are all human beings who have made a decision that education is the right path at this moment in their lives, and they have high expectations of their teachers.
Second, the professionals who teach in these schools are among the most caring and attentive teachers I have encountered in more than 30 years working in education. Further, these professionals tend to have very interesting backgrounds. They bring real-world experience into their classrooms along with their academic preparation and demonstrated commitment to lifelong learning.
Third, the leaders in these institutions tends to be the most progressive and forward-thinking I have encountered in more than 30 years working in education. These leaders respond to many factors including the economic demands emerging from the local community, the academic demands of other institutions of higher learning, governmental priorities and initiatives, and other organizational factors.