Kathryn Truant CDA MEd – a CDA's Role in Education and Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Education is Never Wasteful


I recently celebrated my daughter Isabel’s graduation from high school. She’s off to university now and is exploring her passion in Fine Arts. She struggled throughout high school to find purpose and enthusiasm in courses that were required for graduation but had little interest to her; I had to keep reminding her that no education is a waste. In the end, she was proud of her accomplishment and learned that in order to study Art at university, she had to meet strict prerequisites.

As a dental assistant, my licensing body, the College of Dental Surgeons of BC, enforces mandatory continuing education. I love my career, and I’ve come to appreciate an organization that promotes lifelong learning. Sometimes the courses and conferences that I’m required to attend seem mundane, but any information that I acquire and subsequently share is worthwhile. For example, I have to renew my CPR certification annually. During the 2 hours that it takes to complete the recertification course my mind wanders and I think, “will I actually ever have to perform this in real life?” I may ever not have to, but I will always know how to.

As for my own personal interests, I am taking the next course in the PID (Provincial Instructor’s Diploma) program at Vancouver Community College. The course is Curriculum Development 3210, and I’m excited to learn something new! I love to learn. Mastering new skills is empowering, and sharing information and knowledge to help others is affecting; it creates momentum. I’m taking the course online, but there is a component where I’ll be working with other students. I don’t know why I’m nervous about this, but I have also learned that no one person knows everything, and collaboration with peers, whether it’s in an educational setting or in the workplace, is key.

The above photo was taken on a blustery June day in the Okanagan, but the weather did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of my daughter and her classmates as they finish high school and embark on their futures, where they will all continue to learn. I believe that everyone can learn with the necessary drive. This particular blog post is a “pep talk” to myself, and it’s the same one that I give my children, my peers, and will eventually give to my students. We learn every day: in our personal lives, at school, and at work; we just need to remind ourselves to learn with appreciation and enthusiasm!

This quote from the late B.B. King sums it up:

The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.

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