Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Excitement of the New

The students are coming! The students are coming!

One of the great pleasures of my job is interacting with students new to the university. They're nervous and excited about this new step in their lives, full of curiosity and hopes and lofty goals. I was the same way. I remember how at band camp in my freshman year we would self-mockingly use advanced vocabulary in our everyday speech because "we're in college now." We didn't sweat; we perspired. We weren't tired; we were fatigued. Unfortunately, for me and for many others, this bloom soon passed and we got caught up in the grind.

How can we keep this excitement going? Is it doomed to fade like the rose? How can we encourage new growth?

Perhaps one way is to make sure that each course provides a Significant Learning Experience. The point of a course is not what we teach, but what the students learn. Keeping that in mind will help keep the courses fresh for us as teachers and hopefully for the students as well.

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