Walnut Room this way

Walnut Room this way

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Things that make you smile

I have been reading the weekly papers and discussion board from the grad class (advanced group therapy) the last few days. I am amazed at the depth of insight, application to our group processes, and support for the personal and professional growth of each individual that is displayed in their papers and the comments on the discussion board. I find myself eager to grade their papers in order to find what new insights a class member has about the class.

Now, Tuesday's class was interesting in that I had been leading a discussion for around 15 minutes about a chart in one of our readings. Finally, one student raised his hand and said he was confused, that I was saying one thing, but from how he was reading it, the text was saying the opposite. I looked again, and he was correct. Another student said, "I noted that, too." and then another said she had thought that and so on until several students commented. I looked at them (incredulously, I am sure) and asked how long they were planning to let me discuss that before any of them pointed it out. We laughed about it, and when I shared it with my colleagues later in the week, we laughed about it as well.

The interesting thing has been reading their papers as they discuss the reasons that they did not point it out. In one way, one can see examples of Gilligan's theories about women socialized to care about feelings and relationship: some of them applied it in that context. Others mentioned not challenging authority, though I cannot conceive of how I have ever responded to any of these students which would make them think they could not challenge me. I often learn new or different ways of thinking about something from students. It is one of the reasons I love reading their papers: seeing how they understand what is happening in the classroom and its connections to the readings is fascinating.

We only have 4 more weeks of classes--8 total as 4 in family and 4 in group. I am missing them already, as this is the last class I will teach for them, unless something changes somewhere along the line and I am needed for a class that I don't know about yet. I have come to admire them--for their determination and grit to complete this program, their unwavering support of each other, and now, their obvious growing professional knowledge and skill. Mississippi has so many social problems and issues, but so much potential and strength to address those concerns. To know that in a few more months (well, 24 months so that is more than a few) we will have 21 more MSWs in this part of Mississippi is a very good feeling.


Kathi said...

Hey, Suzassippi! Since you checked out my blog, I found yours on Jane's site, and checked it out! I love it- it's interesting to me that some of your comments about your students apply completely to so many I've had the pleasure of teaching over the years. Even though they were middle school kids, they taught me so much, and it was such a privilege for me to work with them. I'll look forward to your posts!

Suzassippi said...

Aren't students great? (Well, except for the times they are not. :)

Kathi said...