22 Reasons – My VT 201 Experience
Having the opportunity to teach an AC Course at COVD’s Annual Meeting is a pretty special experience. This was the third year in a row I’ve had such an honor, and somehow every experience has found a way to top it’s predecessor. In both 2016 and 2017 the AC Course “VT 201” has been on my docket, and I have been blessed to share the leading role with my dear friend, Jessica Stevenson COVT. Jessi is as creative as she is smart, and has a unique way of cleaning up any confusion left in my wake, as we motor through the sea of material with yours truly taking a turn at the helm. Whether following up on one of my bullet points with a few wise and well chosen words, or simply facilitating a moment of demonstration by reminding me to double check we have everything we need, there are few other people on the face of the earth who could deliver the passion, intelligence, emotion, and raw talent any better than my teaching partner the last two years. In the words of my father, Jessi “brings it”, and everyone in the room, myself included, is a beneficiary. Although she may never admit it, so much of the great success and positive energy of our class falls squarely on her shoulders!
When the current version of VT 201 was written, the goal was to create an environment for learning which would support, enlighten, encourage, and motivate Vision Therapists to embark of journey of attaining a COVT certification. In fact, much of the curriculum was created with the therapists’ Open Book Questions serving as a backdrop, as well as the primary navigating device. Our hope was then and still remains by the time therapists have completed VT 201, they feel ready to certify. We were so pleased to learn many of the attendees in last year’s VT 201 class completed their certification at this year’s meeting, and dollars to donuts there is no better feeling than having one of them approach us to show off their new “COVT” ribbon!
This year’s class quickly took on its own unique identity, again attracting Vision Therapists from around the world and we were so honored to even have participants from as far away as Singapore and Sri Lanka! As we began to introduce and move through our curriculum, it quickly became obvious this group of 22 attendees came ready to listen and learn, as they quickly melded into a cohesive group who asked great questions and helped each other understand the tougher points. Our presentation even included a few “pop quizzes”, which were designed both to reinforce the material, as well as to help all involved gauge their own level of understanding. As presenters, we laughed, we cried (Jessi, not me 🙂 ) as we presented our material from a clinical angle, while sprinkling in a few personal stories and life experiences.
For the first time in as many years as I’ve been attending the Annual Meeting, I was unable to stay the full week. Family and home life have a way of making themselves a priority sometimes. And although I departed Thursday morning with a bit of a heavy heart, knowing my VT family would remain together in the beautiful Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront for another three days, I did so with a very deep sense of satisfaction. Our class went very well, we gave it everything we had, and there’s already 22 reasons to look forward to next year! May they all greet both Jessi and I with a smiling face and a new COVT ribbon.