I’m excited to be back in the groove with the participants! Although part of my job involves exciting activities like payroll reconciliation and benefits analyses, I still do a significant amount of direct service, and this semester, I’m teaching a class called Problem-Solving with a varied group of participants—male and female, adolescent and adult.
Initially, the goal of this class is to help everyone get to know each other, to get comfortable with the challenges they will face, and to be fully engaged in the group. Over the course of the semester, the goals will include exploring and mastering a range of skills related to problem-solving. These include (but are not limited to):
- Open, assertive communication
- Problem analysis
- Solutions generation
- Logical thinking
- Frustration tolerance (when solutions don’t work)
These skills are so helpful in navigating the adult world; in fact, they are often listed as the most valued skills that employers look for in the people they hire. They are also really helpful in building and maintaining successful personal relationships.
In the initial meetings of this class, I have presented the group with some interesting team challenges. One involves the use of a red solo cup, a pencil, and long pieces of string. Five pieces of string are tied to the pencil, and each participant holds the opposite end of the string, creating a “wagon wheel” with the pencil in the center. The group then has to move in a coordinated fashion to navigate the pencil into the Solo cup, which might be sitting on the floor, or on a table or somewhere else. It’s a great test of motor planning, teamwork, and communication.
TCP has built an amazing independence and transition curriculum, and a class like this is an important part of how we prepare our participants for a fulfilling future. Happy problem solving!
– Dave Nelson, Executive Administrative Director