I invite small groups of 3 to 5 students to the simulation lab. I role play a student from an English class.  I tell the students my friend NOELLE (birthing simulator) was taking an exam and started feeling increase intensity in her contractions.  I then tell the students I toured the simulation lab last week and knew there was a patient bed for my friend to rest in until help arrived……this is were the small group of nursing students “jump” into action to help deliver the baby.

Expectations of the students:

  • Find out the student’s name, estimated due date, any health issues
  • Call EMS
  • Apply personal protective equipment (gloves, gown, eye protection)
  • Assist in delivery of the newborn
  • Clear infants airway and keep baby warm until EMS arrive

The activity takes about 15 minutes and the students LOVE it.



Simple way to review learning objectives in the classroom!

  • Have stack of notecards; have one card per student in your class.
  • Label one side of the notecard “Question” and the other side “Answer”
  • On a notecard write a question, on the “Question” side of the card; on a different card write the answer, on the “Answer” side of the card. Continue to write questions/answers until all cards are filled.
  • In the classroom:
    • Pass out all the cards
    • Have a student read their question, the student with the correct answer will answer the question; then flip their card and read their question.
    • Continue until all questions have been asked and answered!
    • If the students are struggling, I allow them to “phone a friend”

Video taped classroom instruction

Hello everyone,

I’ve started to video tape all of my classroom instruction to improve my student success.  I’m using Camtasia Relay to record the video and audio of the classroom.  Camtasia Relay does a great job recording my SmartBoard screen with the hand written additions that I add to the SmartBoard as I’m instructing my class.  In addition, I use a Revolabs microphone that records my voice as I go through every classroom example.

By providing a video/audio of every class session, it allows my students the ability to review what we covered in class.  Not only has this been important to my students who missed that day, but it also has been beneficial to the students who were there and didn’t remember or didn’t have the time to write down what I was saying or doing.

Give it a try.  You are providing a secondary source of classroom instruction that gives every student a chance to be taught again without adding a lot of work to your already busy semester.



Summer 1:1 with all students

This summer (and last) I taught (fulltime) Intro to Biochemistry which is mainly taken by students in Nursing pre-program.  Most have not taken College 101 and I have been wanting to incorporate more mentoring and College 101 topics in this introductory course.  I cannot recall a semester when I am not asked to take late assignments or to rearrange an assessment for work- related reasons.  Each semester some students are very surprised by the amount of studying required for our class or the rigor involved.

Try as I have for many years to impart some of these truths, I decided about two years ago to meet with all students 1:1 so they could have an instructor who invites them to share and lets them know we are  willing to help them find answers to questions about NWTC.

I have noticed more interaction among the students after these meetings and I am sure that some meetings also save some students time and effort when they decide to clarify for themselves how to 'do school'.  
I find Starfish to be very helpful too, but not all students know how to use it.  
Sometimes it is easy to think students know where the library/ assessment center/ BATHROOM is located, but I find each summer that not all students have been here before or feel comfortable exploring on their own.   Many transfer students from universities have commented that they love the small classes and personal attention they receive at NWTC.
Graduates - NWTC - Marinette Accounting - 2016

Everyone has Worth

It is graduation 2016, and we reflect on the significance of this culminating event.  This year, I am reminded of the gifts of knowing, learning, and becoming.  I am reminded of our College values.  Following is something I sent to recent program graduates:

Dear 2016 graduates,

We have spent tremendous time in one another’s company over the past number of years, in courses ranging from Accounting 1 to Payroll, Tax, and Managerial Accounting, and covering topics from basic debits and credits to complex statistical regression analysis.  You have mastered the technical and employability skills so necessary for your success in this field.  Yet, my wishes for you extend far beyond the campus and employment settings.

Do you recall when we discussed the difference between cost and price?  But how about worth?  This is not another accounting lesson, but a parallel to your lives and futures.  It is about one of our most important NWTC values:  Everyone has worth.  Know that each of you is inherently valuable and uniquely significant:  Linda’s good nature, Martha’s tenacity, Becky’s positive, quiet leadership, Sergio’s witty antics, Tanya’s no-nonsense style, Tracy’s gentle spirit, Patrick’s offbeat quirkiness, Nancy’s patience and care, and Jen’s beautiful smile and kind heart.

Transcending academics, maybe the most important knowing is knowing who you are; knowing your identity.  And maybe the most important learning is learning to honor your own merit in the choices you make and people with whom you surround yourselves.  And maybe your most important job is to discover your own humanity; your ability to love and be loved, in respecting others’ humanity.

I hope you value yourselves enough to intuitively protect your humanity and guard your consciousness.  I hope you respect yourselves enough to allow close to you only those who genuinely regard your self-worth and emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.  And, I hope you are able to embrace the divine worth of yourselves and others in all that you do.

I know I have had the complete privilege of teaching your classes, but I have also learned so much from you.  Thank you for lifting me up this past year and for making my job so very rewarding.

Take good care, and look after yourselves . . . you’re worth it!

Student Insights


Does a positive learning environment matter to them? If it really does matter, then what insights were my students willing to share?

The answers were overwhelming, yes. Yes, absolutely it does matter.  Here is what they communicated to me as being MOST IMPORTANT …

When I am in a positive learning environment at NWTC I:

  • have more fun
  • get more homework done
  • have increased confidence in myself
  • think my learning sticks longer
  • am more motivated
  • am able to work out my struggles and not quit
  • have the ability to push forward – past my limits
  • have my anxiety decreased about school
  • test better

So, yes it does matter!

Our Human and Learning Odysseys

For the month of June, and for each month thereafter,  there are documentaries to view, to ponder, and to absorb into your human odyssey as you journey with your students in expanding your horizons. These documentaries can be a complement and supplement to the courses you facilitate in your learning odyssey. Join Odysseus in his 10 years of wandering on an intellectual quest before reaching home. Continue reading

Classroom Bunko

A simple activity to keep the learners engaged. Bunko!! Divide students into groups of
four, with two teams of 2 at each table. Create a head table (1) and bottom table (10) with all other tables numbered between. If there are 3 or fewer students left over after creating the groups of four, they form a table referred to as the sideline.retention

For the first round, let the students pick their own teammate and the table where they will sit. After the first round, they won’t be teamed up again.

Start each round by asking a topic relevant question. Each team works together to solve the question and write down their answer. Questions looking for a list of items in a category are easiest to administer, but deep thought questions can also be used.

After a set time limit, have the entire class discuss the possible answers to the question. After the class discussion, have each table’s two teams compare their answers and determine which team has the most complete answer. Ties or disagreements can be settled by the instructor.

The team with the best (most complete) answer moves up one table. The head table winner stays at the head table. The other team moves down one table. The bottom table team, with the least complete answer, moves to the sideline, allowing sideline participants into the activity. If there are no sideline participants, the bottom table team, with the least complete answer, stays at the bottom table. After moving to a new table, team members must now switch partners with the other team at the new table and the next round begins.

Points can be awarded to each round’s winners and losers, so it really doesn’t matter at which table a participant starts or finishes. Points don’t have to be awarded to simple get students moving, engaged with each other, and the entire class.