Being asked to educate in a classroom is an honor and a privilege. I was fortunate to find myself in this situation recently and wanted to share my experience.
My 5th grader’s Science teacher approached me one morning as I was dropping my kids off for school and asked if I would be interested in performing the eye dissection for her anatomy lab. This was a chance where I could share my passion and help educate young, curious minds both with my son and his classmates. I was grateful that the opportunity presented itself and happily accepted the offer.
On the morning of April 9th, I sat in the classroom for 15 minutes before the children arrived preparing the dissection. The teacher explained that the students could excuse themselves from the dissection and work on their iPad if they felt they could not stomach the dissection. The kids, including my own son, had no idea what they were about to see. My surprised son walked in first, ran over to me with a proud grin and gave me a huge hug. He sat down right beside me. After explaining my career choice to the kids and adding up the 14 years it took me to become an oculoplastic surgeon one bright student commented, ‘”so you basically dissect people?”. I explained that indeed, “a surgeon uses the skills learned over those years of training to help patients, which sometimes involves cutting on them”. Armed with goggles, gloves and excitement the dissection ensued. Questions ranged from, “is that cow still alive?” to “why do I need glasses?” and “do you take eyes out?” The excitement was palpable as I passed the individual parts of the eye around and explained their function. Not a single student asked to be excused. I was amazed at how professional and mature these 10 and 11 year olds were. Hopefully, someday these kids look back and remember this as I can still remember my first frog dissection in elementary school. I’m very passionate about what I do and I love any opportunity to share that with the youth.