September 24, 2011

To Teach Or Learn?

I had a moment of enlightenment during class last night. I was not looking forward to class. There were a few cases of plagiarism throughout the week and I felt a confrontation coming on. Also, there was a possible security issue with 2 girls and I was in fear of my own safety. I had to stop for gas. It was raining. There was traffic. I arrived "late" in my standards for work. I like to arrive fairly early to handle any issues and get my head in the game. I arrived and was introduced to an administrator that would sit in on my class to ensure my safety. I was thinking,  "What am I doing here?" I walked in to witness 2 other girls arguing with curse words and again questioned my purpose of this job. Then, as I began class, a student raised her hand and said, "I don't care if I talk about this in front of the class, but on my paper you wrote..." I was like, "Really? WHAT IS MY PURPOSE? Why did I get this job? Why am I away from my family to be here with these people?" I handled the situation and moved throughout my lecture and activities while my mind was in deep thought. Then, it hit me. "You are here to learn." 

"To learn?" I thought. I went with it. During a break,  I wanted to head to the restroom, get a drink and have a moment to myself. This never happens. The students want to share what they have learned and have a little pride letting me know, that THEY know. I feel like I am their "mother" in a sense. So, one lady was sharing this off-topic story with me that was really personal. I felt the prompting again while she spoke, "You are here to learn." My whole attitude changed! I am one to change my attitude. I go from good to bad and bad to good to better! "I am here to learn," I thought. This woman was sharing her story about her diagnosis of M.S. I didn't know much about the effects of this disease, but soon learned all about it. I felt compassion for this woman, compassion I didn't have before my attitude was changed.

I began facilitating the class like I was "there to learn." I listened to the student's responses. I gave them eye contact and my full attention. Of course, this encouraged more talking and less breaks, but I learned something last night. Every question the students had about the course (History of Psychology) could not be explained by theories, or answered by the text, but those questions could only be answered by the gospel. Oh how I wish I could shout THAT from the front of the class and have them accept it. 

It sounds so silly, but really it's not.

**These photos were from 9/17/11, with the lovely Romero's.

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