I love teaching. I love the sharing of knowledge and challenges between the students and me. One of my strongest values which underlies all that I do is to promote a positive image for the profession and help new social workers develop professionally. Teaching social work courses is my newest way of doing that.
Classroom discussions are marvelous and sometimes challenging when a student raises a question I have never considered before. You have to be on your toes. But, I don’t have to have all of the answers. Thank goodness! I am willing to read about the question and come back with my thoughts at a later time.
While I don’t regret my current teaching situation, it was hard to anticipate the work that I would have to do. I have 77 students. Each of them are unique individuals with their strengths and weaknesses. And, each of them have assignments. . . assignments that I gave them and now I have to grade. I am learning more about each of them by seeing how they write.
I am also learning more about me as I initially struggled to be consistent in my feedback. This weekend I discovered that I am just grading the Draft of an MSE each of them submitted last week. Many times I didn’t know which student did which paper. I think that is a good thing. Because I had developed my focus and skills in just looking at what was correct and adequately reported or missing and/or inadequately addressed. So that was a trial over which I have some mastery.
The tribulations come with the measures of knowledge that each of my 77 students have to do and I have to grade. Draft Mental Status Exam, diagnosing 16 cases (2 per week for 6 weeks – which was by syllabus supposed to be 2 cases each of 8 weeks), Mid-Term Exam (starting tomorrow), and Final MSE followed by Final Exam.
“What was I thinking? !” Well, to be fair, neither I nor the school knew how many students I would end up having in the 4 sections. The school needed 2 more sections taught, it was summertime, I like teaching, so here I am.
It means a lot to me to see the student’s development over the past 5 weeks. Together we have all come a long way. I admit, too, I really like it when the students seem to like me. And, I do so very much like my students. They are going to be wonderful additions to social work. Their dedication to learning is surely going to be generalized to their future practice. I am so very grateful to be a part of their paths to the social work profession.