My mission as a teacher is to enable my students to learn joyfully, read carefully, think clearly, and write well.
In my years of teaching I have identified a three objectives that I want to help students with in order to enable them to learn joyfully. I cultivate these skills in a series of short teaching units spread throughout the term. The material I present here is based of published empirical work and my own personal experience.
Manage Your Anxiety I believe that this is the most important material that I present to my students. Suicide is a leading cause of death among people of college age. The stress upon college students is tremendous. Even more important, however, is that there are some simple tools we can use to both manage our anxiety and faciliate our flourishing.
Develop Your Skills Empirical work shows that one of the best ways we can develop joy in our lives is by doing things that we are really good at, but that are really hard for us. Constantly being at the edge of our competence puts us into a mental state that has been described as "flow." This is the place where we are performing our best and getting real enjoyment out of it.
Find Your Mission If we have managed our anxiety and developed our skills but have no sense as to why we are doing what we are doing, we are robbed of our full measure of joy. In both coping with the inevitable tragedies we will face in life and in flourishing to our full potential, discerning your calling shifts your entire view of the world. But, how do we go about that? I have identified some steps that can help you to find your mission, both in the immediate term and in a more fundamental way.