Today I really got challenged on the depth of my physics knowledge. I met with our excellent Junior class council from SNU and one of the students is taking General Physics. He had some homework and asked if I had a chance to help him with one of the problems.
I said, "Of course! I've always got time to do some physics!"
We sit down at the table (as I'm thinking, "great, this is second semester stuff and I don't teach this in my class" as I realize its Simple Harmonic Motion.
I think to myself, "Okay, I think I can do this" and suddenly come to the realization that I cannot. Now if you know me, I'm not one to walk away from a challenge, I just need some time. You know, I've been put on the spot. I wasn't in a "physics state of mind".
Student leaves for class, not physics, but a class he needs to be in since @mishelleyb is the teacher of this one and I can't, in good conscience, ask him to skip her class simply because I am not fast enough on the draw with my physics knowledge. After his exit, I resume my study of the problem. Just before he left, we started to look at it from a energy standpoint. This was definitely the way to go! Why, why, why do I not always think in terms of Energy?
I must admit, I got a little flustered initially. I mean how ridiculous is it when a student asks you for help on the subject you teach and you can't deliver?!? Oh well, after some careful thought I was able to come up with the correct solution. Any .
Throughout this situation, I had to remind myself. Take your time, be patient, always draw a diagram, and don't freak out when you get put on the spot! Sure, I'm rusty on SHM, but I will be teaching this again in the next couple of months so don't stress... there's still plenty of time to study!