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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Community college summer school class - thoughts after a 3-week session

Can there be too much of a good thing?

I finished teaching a three week summer class that squeezed a full semester into 4.5 hours a day, Monday through Thursday. That was, to say the least, intense.

I don't mean to say that I was surprised by the amount of work it took to prepare the daily session, or the time I spent on assessments. I am a professional - I knew all about that. No, what was so intense was the human connection part.

A class of just about 30 students and one instructor together for 4.5 hours each day. We started at 7.50 am, so we basically woke up together. Plus, it was an introduction to business class, by its nature a completely new topic to most. Just the new vocabulary was practically like learning a new language. The way this class dealt with these stressors: We drew closer.

We shared about ourselves, we shared food together, we shared silly outdoor activities together, we had heated discussions with assigned side-taking - and then we switched sides. We shared what we did on the days off, and we shared what we did after class, we shared what it was like to take the tests, and we shared about reading the textbook in reading journals.

And on the last day, we said thank-yous to our fellow learners. We took a group photo. And we slowly, almost hesitantly, left the classroom.

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