HAPS is a society focused on the teaching and learning anatomy and physiology. We’re always looking for new members to join the community. Check out some thoughts from new HAPSter, Shani Golovay.
“But I have a degree in Plant Biology. I don’t really know anything about Human Physiology, except what I teach in General Biology.” And this started my journey to HAPS.
I found the HAPS website to be helpful as soon as I joined. I hunted down the Course Guidelines and Learning Outcomes right away because I needed a syllabus and some ideas on how much content to cover in the course. Then I found the Guided Inquiry Activities by Murray Jensen. I tried out the activities with my students right away- and they loved them. I was starting to feel like I could teach this class after all, and I felt like I had a giant community of people helping me that I didn’t even know.
I learn more from the HAPS email listserv then I do from most professional journals I receive. I was amazed how open and helpful everyone was with each other. I look forward to the listserv conversations and I learn so much. It was so refreshing to find a whole group of people willing to share their expertise with those of us way out of our area. If I emailed someone a question, they would explain things and even send me documents or ideas. I am much more confident about teaching this Human Physiology class because of HAPS. I think Human Physiology may be my new favorite class to teach because of all the awesome ideas I get from other HAPSters. I was telling my colleagues about this society where everyone was nice and actually helpful and wanted to share ideas about teaching and everyone was impressed and a bit jealous that I had found such a group.
I am just so grateful to find a community of people where those with experience and lots of talent are willing to help those of us just starting out with these classes. We need each other because we can’t talk about this sort of stuff over dinner except with each other, right?
The best part for me was the annual meeting, but that is another blog post…..
The HAPS email listserv is where some of the most interesting conversations in A&P are taking place! The listserv is a members-only benefit that is an extremely valuable resource. If you are a member of HAPS, but have not yet joined the listserv, you are missing out on one of the best parts of membership.
For example, Ken Saladin, author of three A&P textbooks, wrote, “I have found the HAPS-L listserv to be an invaluable resource. Occasionally I know something edifying to other list participants, which is gratifying, but more often, I learn from others brighter or better informed than I. HAPS-L discussions have alerted me to many new perspectives in A&P that have found their way into my textbooks, and to issues where I’ve needed to re-evaluate my assumptions and correct or update my information. As a rich source of ideas for improvements and corrections, HAPS-L ranks at least as high as, or maybe higher than, the peer reviews we commission for each new edition.
“As an active classroom professor, I mention new information from HAPS-L often in my A&P lectures, explain my teaching and testing with reference to what I know the nationwide US-Canadian norms to be, and occasionally check with my HAPS-L colleagues on questions my students ask that I can’t immediately answer. My students seem to appreciate that I’m actively engaged in this network of A&P instructors, sometimes referring their questions to the listserv and always formulating my teaching practices not in isolation, but in the context of the expectations of A&P courses everywhere. ”
The current HAPS President, Tom Lehman, added, “I smile on Fridays when I see multiple posts shooting out from colleagues who are trying to find reasons not to grade their latest exam. Some of the posts are goofy and some are serious, but they’re almost all – on those Friday afternoons – a chance for educators to brainstorm and vent and share. Even when we’re swamped with work, they give us a chance to flesh out some idea that has been percolating in the back of our minds, knowing that we have several colleagues who we can trust to consider our crazy idea and help build it into something amazing for our students. The list-serv is one of the best aspects of being a member of HAPS.”
Summer is really here—my crew is headed out on a backpacking/water sliding/camping adventure tomorrow morning and we’ll be gone for the next couple of weeks. So, in order to avoid packing tonight (I hate packing), I decided to organize my emails. From the last 3 years.
That makes complete sense, right?
Of course it does. And even though it might not have been the most productive and efficient use of my time tonight, it was really fun because my email box was FULL of FASCINATING emails from the HAPS listserv. Honestly (and I know I’ve said it before), the listserv is one of the best parts of HAPS membership. Aside from the fantastic conversations about TEACHING anatomy and physiology, the list is a community building PLACE where we connect throughout the year. It was really fun sift through those old conversations and recognize people I now know in person from the annual conferences.
The email threads I sifted through were varied and dynamic. I found references to hilarious videos (I am forever grateful to the person who shared the fantastic music video “What does the spleen do“), thought provoking cartoons (one recent discussion on technology in the classroom was stimulated by this cartoon), and dynamic interactions around current research.
So if you are already a member of HAPS make sure you join the list. Just sign up on the website and you’ll be good to go. It really is a cool perk of being a member. And if you aren’t a member yet, join. It is soooo worth it.
I won’t be posting next week—I’ll be too busy being on summer vacation. (That is assuming I actually get packed tonight…ahem.)