ncalcate

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So I have been teaching the MCAT for Kaplan since October 2003, and I can't bring myself to teach the Green Dot (the wonderful stress reducing technique you're supposed to unveil in MCAT Strategy I). I know that if I talk about it, any shred of credibility I will have with my students will immediately fly out the window.

Do any of you other Kaplan teachers teach this? What do your students think? Or do you skip it? I don't interact with any of the other Kaplan teachers at my Center, so I don't know if they teach it or not.

Or if you're a Kaplan student prepping for the April MCAT, did your teacher talk about the green dot? What was your impression when he/she was talking about it?

I am really curious to know if I am the only one who thinks the green dot is ridiculous.
 

gschl1234

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Originally posted by ncalcate
So I have been teaching the MCAT for Kaplan since October 2003, and I can't bring myself to teach the Green Dot (the wonderful stress reducing technique you're supposed to unveil in MCAT Strategy I). I know that if I talk about it, any shred of credibility I will have with my students will immediately fly out the window.

Do any of you other Kaplan teachers teach this? What do your students think? Or do you skip it? I don't interact with any of the other Kaplan teachers at my Center, so I don't know if they teach it or not.

Or if you're a Kaplan student prepping for the April MCAT, did your teacher talk about the green dot? What was your impression when he/she was talking about it?

I am really curious to know if I am the only one who thinks the green dot is ridiculous.

What's the green dot technique?
 

DrNE1

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I took the Kaplan Class and never heard of this.

What is it?

DR Anyone
 
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Pedonc

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I personally don't teach that section, and I haven't bothered to ask the person who does whether or not they use it. I think it is the most ridiculous thing that Kaplan has ever come up with!
 

Bad Mojo

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I love the green dot. Of course, I don't teach it in the serious manner that Kaplan intends. Overall, there are some things (green dot included) that Kaplan seriously wants teachers to say but are just ridiculous. Check out the verbal 2 passage on voluntary v. involuntary actions. There is a question about perception. The explanation is hilarious (alien metal!!!). I go through the green dot for fun. Its fun to get everyone to close their eyes and put everything in the box. About a month later, one of my students got into the classroom early and drew about 50 green dots on the board.
 

exgatr

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I don't teach the green dot either, its too hokey.
 

KarateGirl

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That is so funny, I've also wondered also whether other Kaplan teachers teach it.

I started teaching in October, too, and I got about halfway through MSCT I before I discovered that Kaplan had revamped the course and no one bothered to tell me or give me the new TELs. :rolleyes: So I never taught my class about the green dot.

I've taught the lesson a couple of times since then, and I still don't teach it. It's so damn cheesy (like much else in the course). The only problem was that when I taught MSCT II, they actually mention the green dot in the lesson book. So when I got to it I told the class what it was (and we all laughed) and then I told them that while the green dot might be hokey, if stress is an issue they should find some relaxation technique that works for them.

In general, whenever I see something in the lesson that I think is stupid, either I skip it or tell them what Kaplan wants me to tell them, but I make sure they know it's the company's words, not mine. A lot of it actually works as comic relief, and that way you can follow Kaplan's directions and still maintain your dignity.
 

ncalcate

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The green dot is a stress reduction technique that the teacher is supposed to present to you in the first classroom session.

As a student, you are supposed to focus on a large green dot the teacher has drawn on the board, and then close your eyes for 30 seconds. By clearing your thoughts of everything EXCEPT the green dot, you are supposed to relieve stress. It is allegedly a technique used by olympic athletes (or that is what Kaplan tells the teachers to tell the students). It is a critical part of the 3 Cs - content, critical thinking, and crisis prevention.

As a teacher, it is an opportunity to look like a complete a$s in front of your class (in my opinion).
 

gschl1234

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Originally posted by ncalcate
The green dot is a stress reduction technique that the teacher is supposed to present to you in the first classroom session.

As a student, you are supposed to focus on a large green dot the teacher has drawn on the board, and then close your eyes for 30 seconds. By clearing your thoughts of everything EXCEPT the green dot, you are supposed to relieve stress. It is allegedly a technique used by olympic athletes (or that is what Kaplan tells the teachers to tell the students). It is a critical part of the 3 Cs - content, critical thinking, and crisis prevention.

As a teacher, it is an opportunity to look like a complete a$s in front of your class (in my opinion).

I believe I think more clearly when I'm under pressure. I don't like the feeling but I make fewer "dumb" mistakes. Does anyone else feel this way?
 

bokermmk

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Dont teach it either. I read it too the class the first day, realiized it was stupid. Now we all joke about it.
 

Auricae

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For all of you Kaplan teachers, I have some questions.

I was accepted into the Kaplan training program after my audition, but I am still not sure I want to do it. My major concern is that it won't be fun. I did NOT enjoy studying for the MCAT, but I did want to experience teaching.

So I guess my question is, overall, do you enjoy teaching Kaplan? Would you recommend I go through the training? Will the boring material overwhelm any positive experience I may gain from teaching itself? Thanks in advance.
 

meltmyfaceoff

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its not bad once the classes get to know you.
some of the classes we had here were brutal and complained about a teacher a lot and the teacher got in trouble or something. i hope i don't get a harsh class like that.

other than that, its easy to teach the lessons you've already taught: i'm prepping for verbal 3 right now and its pretty boring and dumb but i dont mind because i get so much money.
 

Gleevec

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I took Kaplan and never heard of it. Then again, it sounds like a complete waste of time.
 

KarateGirl

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Originally posted by trojan2004
im assuming you get paid a lot!

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Seriously, I like teaching a lot, and I've met some cool people doing it. You have to be comfortable in front of a room full of people, and you have to know how to keep your cool when you don't have the right answers. If you don't project confidence, you will not have any fun. But if you can convince your students that you do know your stuff, it can be a great experience.
 

Auricae

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Can you be more specific about the pros and cons? Thanks!
 

elias514

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Teaching at Kaplan can be a nightmare or a wonderful experience, it depends on the particular classes that you teach. Some classes are awesome--the students are very interested in the material, responsive to questions, and respectful. Other classes have students who are arrogant, insecure jerks; you'll want to strangle these individuals, partly because they establish a hostile, negative classroom environment. Fortunately, these "bad apples" are fairly rare.

Overall, teaching at Kaplan is great, but there are days when I'd like to beat the crap out of certain students.
 

ncalcate

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I agree 100% with elias514's post. I've had classes where we've all had a lot of fun. I've had other classes where the students are intent on trying to show that they know more than you. In those cases, it leads to a very unproductive environment, and you can very easily lose your cool if you are not prepared.

Also, make sure you are confident in your ability to explain scientific concepts to other people. You may understand something like effective nuclear charge, but explaining it to a bunch of stressed pre-meds can be more difficult than you might expect.

Other than these pitfalls, I've enjoyed my experience.

Does anyone know if you get a discount on Kaplan's USMLE Step I course if you are an MCAT teacher? That would be a huge benefit.
 
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