As an athletic trainer at a high school, I sometimes wonder the different goals that our student athletic trainers are trying to pursue/reach while in the athletic training program. On the other hand, I was curious to know how our students viewed their own attitudes and personality traits/characteristics while in the athletic training program. In most athletic training programs, you tend to see a lot of different personality and behavior characteristics, which tend to change over time. This is possibly due to the increased amount of interaction between different individuals, such as other student athletic trainers, athletes, and coaches.
At the beginning of the year, we try to express the different expectations that we have while the students are in the program. Some of the basic expectations that we have but not limited to: positive attitude, being proactive, professional appearance, leadership, punctuality, enthusiasm, and reliability. With that being said, we always found ourselves having meetings with our students because one or more of them were falling short of our expectations.
At the end of football season, I decided to create a self-evaluation document for our students to fill out based on how they felt about themselves. While in college, the athletic training students always had to complete a self-evaluation, so I thought it would be a great idea to modify the questions as it relates to the high school setting. The choices that they were to choose from were: Not yet experienced, Below Average, Average, Above Average, and Excellent.
This was just a completion grade for our students, because it would be inappropriate for them to receive a grade based on how they felt about their own characteristics. Not all students possess the same level of each quality as compared to their peers. As the responses came in, it was interesting to see how the students rated themselves. The students that we believed to be better at certain qualities when compared with their peers were consistent with the self-rated responses. On the flip side, those students that we felt needed to work on some qualities; it was consistent with their responses as well.
Another aspect of the evaluation was to see their goals that they might have set for being in the program. While some responses ranged from meeting people, extra-curricular activity, or feeling important, others wanted to pursue a degree within the health-care profession. Although we understand that not all of our students will continue on to become athletic trainers in college, it is important for us to not only promote the profession, teach them basic athletic training skills, but also teach them lessons about life in general and be their mentor when they need it.
After the evaluation was due, we asked our students thought about the assignment. Some thought it was silly, while others thought it was a good idea. Those who thought it was a good idea realized the areas in which they were weak and took that information and understand the qualities they might be able to work on. Overall, our students enjoyed the self-evaluation idea and would like to continue to evaluate themselves so they can gage their progress while in the athletic training program.
Therefore, with the evaluation being a success, I am able to take the information and help those who may be struggling in certain areas and provide them with some resources to achieve the excellence status.
So the question is…..how would your students rate themselves?