End of the semester

I’m always grateful for the start of a semester, but there is something fulfilling about the end of a term, as well. I love knowing that my classes are coming to completion, and I can find out just what my students really learned from this course.

I’m curious, though, what others remember YEARS after taking a class. After attending a conference in the spring, I walked away with one overarching concept from the leaders: rather than focusing your objectives on the short-term, think about the long-term implications of having taken your course. What is it you want students to remember about your class in 5 years? In 10? In 20?

For me, that’s pretty simple: I want them to remember that my class taught them a lot about how to interact with others more effectively. Having been in relationships of all types (professional, familial, romantic, friendships, etc.) with dysfunctional communication, I want students to remember that there is a better way to share their understanding with others. I hope that means they become more reflective in time, thinking about what they have once said, then sharing that in a different way later on.

One class I vividly remember from my undergrad years was my upper-level Interpersonal Class. It wasn’t just the methods our teacher used, focusing on critical research articles, etc., it was that she helped us gain understanding based upon our own reflections of those articles. I also remember her very clearly telling me to find a way to be more concise in my reflections–in other words, always go back and find a way to simplify the message. Somehow, that’s stuck with me in my teaching, as much as anything.

What do you remember from college or other experiences? Share them with me in the comments section!

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