Wednesday, September 5, 2012

THIS is why I love to teach - - - -

Yesterday was one of those days in teaching that reinforces my LOVE for this profession.  My Sports Psychology class had to select their presentation topics for the semester - they have to work in teams of four and so yesterday they chose topics, established teams and selected dates for their presentations.  For them, it was chaos, for me it was ORGANIZED chaos where they were forced to work together, make connections with members of their teams, compromise, choose tasks within each team and then work with me to establish timelines - as I said, chaos for them - ORGANIZED and planned chaos for me.  One student commented "you love this don't you?" and I smiled and responded YES.  We then began looking at why some people are perfectly comfortable being GREEN CIRCLE skiers and others DOUBLE BLACK DIAMONDS - it was a fascinating discussion about how neurotransmitters may play a role in this and how the Central Nervous System levels of stimulation let one take great chances and another be happy with taking few chances.  We watched a YouTube video on cliff jumping and then moved on to even more extreme sports - check out wing suit base jumping on YouTube - watching the expressions on their faces as they watched seemingly sane people jump off of very high cliffs dressed in a wing suit and then FLY at 100 miles an hour right next to walls of stone left some with expressions of fear and voicing "I will NEVER do that" and others with looks of joy at seeing something that really speaks to them.  We processed all of those different reactions and they left the classroom talking, energized and saying "I never knew that before." - THOSE words warm any professor's heart....

My Theories of Counseling class met next and we talked about the chapter they had read for yesterday. After going through the PowerPoint presentation I had prepared based on the chapter on Medication(s) we watched the PBS Frontline show from 2008 entitled The Medicated Child - wow - each time I show this to my classes, they have a visceral reaction to scenes with 4 and 6 year old children who are on 8 to 11 different medications.  Since most of these students are also in a Practicum class, they will all have "clients" who are on some form of medication so it is important that they do some critical thought and analysis of their OWN views on medication.  Much like the students in Sports Psychology, these students also left the classroom talking with each other, energized and all riled up - again, things that make teaching so rewarding -

As I said, things that remind me why I LOVE to teach, even having done so since January of 1966......

Take care, be well, and please keep all of the members of our military in your thoughts and prayers as the War in Afghanistan continues to take the lives of OUR soldiers.


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