Moving from the old to the potentially new as New Year’s Eve approaches, I am reminded, for some reason, of lessons learned in my early years of college teaching. I feel the urge to share some of them, so here goes.


  • Don’t turn your back on the class when you write on the blackboard. The students will giggle as they watch you wiggle.
  • Don’t gesture with your middle finger.
  • Wait until class is over to scratch your nose.
  • Don’t cause your class optical and other stress by moving unnecessarily. Save your dancing moves for appropriate occasions. i.e., every move and motion should have a purpose
  • If you don’t know the answer to the student’s question, don’t fake it. Pretending to be an encyclopedia makes you look foolish, and teaches the irrational lesson that the student is deficient if he or she isn’t perfect.
  • Use the question as a teaching opportunity. Offer to look up the answer before the next class, or, better yet, ask the class to do it.
  • Maybe most important. When preparing and presenting your class presentation, focus on what the class will gain from it, not how smart or competent you will look.
  • Same goes for preparing tests and assigning papers.
  • Apply all these rules to individual therapy, unless you really feel that thumbing your nose or gesturing with your middle finger will provoke some kind of useful reaction.

Oh, another lesson to apply to the new year: If the class (or the client session) was a disaster, remember Annie. There’s always tomorrow, and it’s only a day away.

Happy anticipation of 2013.


Posted December 28, 2012 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

6 responses to “LESSONS REMEMBERED

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  1. wonderful advice and good post! Have a Happy New Year my friend!

  2. Love it!!!

  3. Happy New Year, Mona–

         I had to chuckle when I read this e-mail, because the same lessons applied when I taught history at Branford Junior High school back in the dinosaur age!!!!


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