I'm a bit of an aberration (or at least my schedule is) in terms of when the courses I teach begin and end in the program in which I am working. First of all, the college in which I teach runs on terms rather than semesters, meaning that the grading period is 6 months long instead of 15 weeks as is much more traditionally the set-up. On top of that, courses start and stop at various time points during a term, based on a multitude of factors. What that means for me is that the term I will begin teaching one course in February, and two more in April, the latter two being taught to two different cohorts (first-year OT students and second-year OT students).
On another front, I am two weeks into the semester in the two classes I am taking as a doctoral student, and so I can relate to what my students may be about to experience in navigating a new course syllabus, buying textbooks, entering due dates for class sessions and assignments/tests into my calendar, etc. I once had a classmate who compared the starting of a new class to climbing into a bed with new linens on it. I am not sure that I am in agreement with that metaphor, but I understand the feeling of starting anew. I hope that I am able to both put my students' minds at ease - to transmit a "we're in this together" message to them from early on in each course - and spark their interest in learning the subject matter at hand. That's my goal for the next couple of weeks at least ...
I am a teacher at heart, and there are moments in the classroom when I can hardly hold the job. When my students and I discover unchartered territory to explore, when the pathway out of a thicket opens up before us, when our experience is illuminated by the lightning-life of the mind - then teaching is the finest work I know." ~Parker Palmer
Stephanie Lancaster, MS, OTR/L, ATP, CAPS is an occupational therapist with 25+ years of clinical experience. As an assistant professor, Stephanie trumpets the value of teaching and practicing in the field of OT in an "out loud" manner.