I’m doing an education elective this month.
I have almost always wanted to be a teacher (and an author). Well, after I got over the wanting to be a vet (my parents quashed that dream when I was about 4 when they informed me that if I was a vet, I would have to take a bath every day) and work at KFC (I was a chubby kid who really liked the way it smelled, despite the fact that I was informed I would no longer like KFC if I smelled it every day… I didn’t even have to smell it everyday to develop a dislike for KFC as an adult). Honestly, medicine came much, much later in life.
I realized as a teenager that I hate kids in mass, so perhaps teaching elementary or middle school was out of the question. I also realized science was very fun.
Once I hit medicine, though, I came to this crazy realization that maybe, just maybe I could “have it all.” Who knew doctors teach?
Probably most people.
But, the fact that it could be my reality blew my mind a little.
So, I have always thought teaching was important. I tutored in med school, mentored new students, all that stuff. And now, I am doing an education elective and launching some new education related stuff in my department. It has confirmed that I want to teach more. I think I might even start working on my masters in the next year or two (depending on how this whole juggling residency and baby thing goes).
The funny thing is about the elective is that, for the first time in a long while, it is like being a student again. Sure, there is no call and my hours are a bit more set, but I have assigned readings and projects and assignments. Plus, the studying/prep for my usual program academics. I forgot a bit what it was like to be a “real” student. I have a love-hate relationship with being like a “real” student.
My focus is suboptimal. Lectures from 8-12 and 1-4:30 That is a lot now. Friday afternoon half-day is like torture and that is just 1-5 one day a week. Plus, the degree of interaction is much more than I’m used to. Group work? Heck, usually my whole program is the size of a group they have me working with. Non-clinical assigned readings are novelties. Doing assignments and writing papers are things I do much more rarely now, but they are becoming regular occurrences. Presentations and teaching practice prep is similar, but different. And then there is switching focus completely to study for my usual departmental half-day stuff and exams.
That being said, it is neat to learn more about being a better teacher. And knowing that it is something I can do. And will do.
Seeing the enthusiasm of the Med 1s in tutorial and how everything is challenging and exciting is super cool. Learning about what always seemed to be the top secret world of designing OSCE stations and training standardized patients makes me realize how much goes in to our learning. Finding ways to make things better for newer trainees is encouraging. Even figuring out how and why I learn the way I do and how to make that work for me is useful.
Most of my friends are teachers. Heck, I’m married to a teacher. And I am realizing that in more ways than I originally thought, I am a teacher too.
I know, I’m a huge geek. But, I’m okay with that. Just humour me.