I have felt for several years that one of my main missions in life is to help others to be the best they can be. That's what I think I do as a teacher, as a mother, as a christian. Sometimes I do it a lot better than others times. Sometimes things work together to allow me to be a better servant that way than other times.
That's why I'm excited about one of the classes I'm teaching this coming semester. I teach a course on personal wellness for the students in Nursing Access and Social Work Access. In this course, students have to set a personal wellness goal. We go through all the steps involved in setting goals, then about 1/3 of the course is following through on their goal, making an oral report at midterm, doing reflective journal entries and a final reflective essay, etc. About 1/3 of the course is talking about the elements important for wellness: nutrition and diet, exercise, dealing with stress effectively, etc. The final third of the class (for the nursing access students) is wellness issues in the NWT; where we talk about addictions (smoking, drinking and drugs), STI's (they used to be called STD's) and other communicable diseases, TB, diabetes, etc. The Social Work Access students get an introduction to Social Work (by different instructors) for that third of the course.
What makes me excited about this is that it is so seldom that people get direct instruction and support on how to make positive changes in their lives. That they also get credit for it is a bonus (and for many of them, the only reason that they stick with it). Now this semester I'll also be doing some upgrading in the Trades Access program. When I was visiting with the head of that program, I was mentioning this course, and she was intruiged, and may want me to develop something for Trades Access as well. It wouldn't be the same course, but would have a number of the same elements, such as setting a personal wellness goal and elements important for wellness. This is also very exciting for me. It may happen this semester, but it might have to wait until next fall, as well.