Writing about things often helps me to understand them better. Thus, I want to clarify my own goals for this CM on my blog. They are personal goals–this CM will be focused almost entirely on our personal growth as teachers, presenters, and (maybe more importantly) friends, in our roles as FHRCS STAs.
I have taught FHRCS twice. The first time I was completely clueless–a junior roped into teaching FHRCS by an email from Michael Blackwell. I had never taught a class before and felt as if I was just fumbling through, making things up. I tried my very best. We did fun stuff and academic stuff. We covered the 11 ways to earn honors credit and reviewed COSPs and toured VBI. We ate dinner together a couple of times, went to the Blacksburg Farmers’ Market, and had interesting discussions in class. For my background and for my experience, I thought that I had done my very best to teach a good FHRCS class.
This fall, I taught FHRCS again. I was really excited, really ready to go. with the experience I had, I knew I could do a better job teach FHRCS than I had before. I covered the same topics, did most of the same field trips/activities, but simply felt as if I wasn’t investing enough in my FHRCS. I wasn’t connecting enough with them. Maybe my activities weren’t exciting enough, or perhaps the topics I covered were ones that my students had already heard from other sources. Maybe, as a senior, I was just becoming too far removed from the freshman experience or I was too busy to be sufficiently invested in each of my students.
Regardless, I felt a bit like a failure. I want to do my own best. When I was young, I was in 4H. The 4H motto is: Make the best better. This has always meant a lot to me.I try to do my best, always. I really care about the things I do. How, then, do I improve? Is doing your best good enough? Not always.
I want to be a better friend to the students in my FHRCS next year. I’m an awkward person: not very friendly or charming or outgoing. I am sometimes overly critical or judgmental (although, I try not to be). Connecting with people can be very difficult for me. I really want to connect with the students in my FHRCS. I want to make friends with them and I want them to be engaged in FHRCS and to think that FHRCS is fun.