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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Section 001

On the first day of my job in 2010, a colleague approached me and asked if I would team teach a section of Student Development 117, Career Exploration. Without really knowing what it entailed, I said yes. It was a good experience, and I've done it twice since then... 

But, it wasn't until this last semester that I developed a love of teaching and saw parts of my patriarchal blessing come to fruition.

This semester I taught Section 001 of Student Development 317R, Career Strategies at BYU and I. loved. it

But it wasn't necessarily the subject matter or lectures that helped me develop this love. It was these incredible students. 

The best group of students on BYU campus.
(Front Row, Left to Right: Chase, Carlee, Olivia, Amorrette, Kirsten, Anne, Emily D., Honivah, Brindy, Kathy, Ben, Rhiannon, Lyndsey, Emily B., Amelia, Kylie)(Back Row, Left to Right: Nate, Meredith, Kalisha, Whitney, Kendall, Cameron, Cody, Lauren, Ethan, Guissepe, Mitch, Spencer, Easton, Laura, Janea, Sabrina, Stephanie, Joe, Sarah, Stefani)

It's quite a unique experience to be a near peer to your students; once you've gained their trust and respect it becomes more like a learning friendship than a teacher-student relationship. 

To be frankly honest, I was so nervous at the beginning of the semester, but as I got to know these students it became one of the best parts of my week where we discussed some of the keys to professional success. 

We started each class with a question of the day led by a student. We talked about our dream cars, where we'd been around the world, what our dream jobs are, and which store (or we hoped) described us. 

It was so much fun. 

But, as the semester came to an end, I couldn't help but feel a deep, deep love for these students. My students. 

As their final, each student was required to put together some kind of presentation. It could be a simple PowerPoint, a Poem, or a Song; I just wanted to know what they had learned during the semester. 

I was surprised that every. single. student. gave a unique presentation catered to their own preferences, talents, and styles. Songs (on the piano and guitar), poems, movies, PowerPoints and everything in between with corky lyrics, references to our questions of the day and more. 

I was also surprised at how emotional I was as I realized that I may have touched these students in some small way and that Heavenly Father had given me the opportunity to make a difference in these students' lives. But, I was even more surprised as I saw that these students will be the future leadership of our society. 

Since the end of the semester I have received multiple thank-you cards and e-mails expressing gratitude "for the most practical class I've ever taken" and thoughts about how my class is the class that students have missed most since the semester ended.

I even had one amazing student bring me a gift: an official LinkedIn t-shirt. How awesome. (And yes, call me nerd. I immediately changed into it.)

Needless to say, these students changed me and I am ever grateful to them, thank you. 


Alison Rae said...

This is awesome! I am so glad your job is so rewarding! I yearn to have this feeling about my job!

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