Athais' Training Journal

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Athais replied the topic: Re:Athais' Training Journal

Kol, I may stay around for a while this time.

Jax, finding out about myself, even if it seems to be bad things, is always a good thing. How else would I know what to work on?
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Athais replied the topic: Athais' Training Journal

Well, it is official - I no longer am teaching Anatomy and Physiology and Medical Terminology in the evening. :wow I was getting frustrated with the students and administration and could not reconcile giving up time in order to deal with students who do not want to own their education and administration that doesn't understand what is happening in the classrooms.

You might ask what I mean by 'owning your education'. When a person owns their education, they search out ways to learn. They don't rely on the teacher to supply them with all the information and answers. The students in this last class pretty much wanted me to do all the work and they would sit their and absorb the information. They would complain that the questions on the exam were not phrased the way that they were on the study guide. They complained about not using the book - why did we have to buy a book if we aren't going to use it - never thinking that they could read the chapter on the material just covered and soon to be tested on. Instead, they would get Ds and Fs on their tests. They had the option of opting out of taking the test on the day it was to be given if they didn't feel they would do well. They would have to make it up before the next class. Many didn't choose that option and, instead, would fail the test. If they opted out of taking the test, they were to go into another room and wait for the testing to be done. What did they take with them? Books? Study guides? Notes? Nooooo - cell phones.

If you own your education, you use all the time given to study without being told to do so. If you don't understand something, you ask questions until you understand. Chances are that there are others in the class that don't understand as well. Or you can come up to the teacher after class and say you don't understand. They were told in the beginning to do so. I have often met with students on my own time - the school doesn't pay for anything besides the 3.5 teaching period - and went over the material until they understood it. But not one person in this last class came to me and said that they didn't understand.

When you own your education, you search out resources to supplement your education and you don't gripe about it, either. Supplementing an education with outside resources has been around since I was a child. When did it go away? We have the greatest tool in our hands - the internet - to help. You don't even have to leave home to get information anymore. It is right there at your fingertips. It is not a replacement for the teacher, though, but a student should not rely on the teacher for all the information.

The administrators took two hard classes - the ones I taught - and cut them back to 50 hours, down from 60 hours. I kept telling them that I needed more time, not less time. They wouldn't listen, but put an incredible amount of stress on me covering all the necessary material. I just got tired of trying to do the impossible. What is that saying, "If you repeat the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome, that is idiocy." I think that is how it goes. I was doing that with no better results, so it was time to leave the teaching in the evening to someone else. And I am glad I did.

Now I can meditate for 45 minutes every day. Now I can go to the gym four nights a week. I just checked out Bikram yoga and am anxious to attend my first class on Thursday. They have it everyday, so I will fill those days I don't go to the gym with yoga. The other thing that I want to do is take the classes here. I now have the time. Yes, I only taught on Monday and Wednesday, but I had to prepare for the class, make tests, grade tests, and do all that other good stuff. That took up a lot of time. Now I am free from that burden and able to really do what I want to do. I have signed up for two online classes taught by Pema Chodron and another class taught by another person - can't think of the name right now.

I am so excited about having time to do all these things. I am so excited to finally be able to concentrate on myself without having the stress of teaching in the evening. It is like a whole new world has opened up for me. I may even go to the Indiana gathering this year. (Sorry, but the one in Colorado, although terrific sounding, is just coming up too soon.)

Needless to say, having that one stress removed from my life has been life-changing. I really will be able to concentrate more on feeding my spirit and nurturing myself. And that is exciting!
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Athais' Training Journal

Guess this is a 'silver lining' incident? Nice that you now have time to further your meditation practices and delve into things you have interest in.

Yours is another in a smattering of stories about how college aged students do not 'want' to learn but want to be spoonfed and given an 'A' just for showing up. I can't say I was a model student in my time. I hated doing the standard 'make work' homework but loved diving into the back rows of the library (ya, long before the InterWebs came along and spews as much trash as 'wisdom') and dig up some odd historical figure or arcane research for some class. Part of my long time love of books in general I suppose.

It does make one wonder what needs to change as far as education. Instead of the 19th century concept of 20-30 bodies all neatly in rows and being instructed on how to parrot some facts and then testing on how well they can duplicate the rote response, perhaps we need to 'redo' everything from junior high onward and focus on teaching kids how to learn; how to enjoy the act of discovering new facts/ideas and, perhaps a more 'creative thinking' approach not unlike Socrates and Aristotle rather than rote memorization.

Of course, there is an entire wave of folks who prefer the 'nice rows' and 'obedient robot workers' concept since it helps bolster the lower and mid levels of 'working society. "Thinking" gets in the way of mindless, repetitive function... so best to get that squashed as early as possible. All part of making the work force 'obedient' at an earlier and earlier age to pay those taxes and help support the tippity toppest of society.

(okay, almost a 'black helicopter' rant. sorry)
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Athais replied the topic: Athais' Training Journal

The sad thing is, Kol, that some of the people in the class were in their 50s. It is like they have adopted the new ways of learning which lacks curiosity and owning your education. They complain when you put them in a position in which they have to actually research something. I assigned a research paper that could be an actual paper, a brochure, or a poster. Three people made posters - two were very good and one was looked like it was made by a first-grader. So I propped the two nice ones on the table and showed them to the administrator. Then she asked about the one in my hand, which I knew she would. When I opened it for her to see it, her jaw dropped to her chest. Then I told her that this is what I keep getting as far as students. I would say about half the class is like that - only willing to do the minimum of work. Needless to say, I failed that student. Or, rather, she failed herself.

I meet up with a friend for lunch today - it was actually my daily walk at work and he lives near my workplace. He said that I look so happy. I know it is because of not teaching in the evening.
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