Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Making It Enjoyable

When I was in High School, one of my favorite teachers was a Phys Ed teacher. I was not an athlete, or even athletic, by any stretch of the imagination but I enjoyed playing some sports. What I liked about this teacher was, he did not care how good of an athlete you were, he simply cared that you gave it your best. I saw this instructor give some of the star athletes trouble if he felt they were disrespecting him. I also saw him give a lot of respect to some of those who were not good at sports, as long as they were respectful and trying. As I said, I enjoyed being in this teacher’s classes.

My son gets his athletic abilities from my wife (also no athletic ability to speak of) and me. Still, this summer, one of the things he wanted to do was spend a week in summer camp. He knows that this camp will not turn him into an athlete but he was looking forward to it. In fact, he informed me and my wife that if we needed to make any appointments for him, we should not make it during the time he was in sports camp.

While he was looking forward to it, I could only hope that it would be a positive experience for him. Yesterday was his first day of this camp and when I went to pick him up, he had such a smile on his face it was clear that he enjoyed his first day. Hopefully, it will continue like this for the week. I certainly think it will.

My experience with my High School Gym teacher and my son’s experience with Sports Camp serves as an important reminder to all teachers. First, people who may not seem to have great skills dealing with whatever subject we are teaching can still enjoy our classes if we meet their needs. Second, we can help improve the skills of these individuals even if they won’t be scholars in that field. We must always teach with the student in mind.

One of the reasons I got into teaching was to make a positive difference in the lives of students. Hopefully I am still doing that.