I have been inspired!

I have been inspired!  I have had the opportunity to take several of the professional development courses, On-course,  CRT and now Teaching Inclusively.  I have always left each class inspired with strategies to implement in my classroom to improve delivery and promote a  healthy learning environment. I am always impressed by the creativity of my colleagues and their dedication to student success.

During the past week while taking Teaching Inclusively, we had the opportunity to listen to a panel of individuals who discussed diversity and their experience and insights..  The one thing that I took away from the discussion was that building community on our campus, in our program and in my classroom influences the success of our students.

I have decided that in the next semester I am going to promote community.  I teach in the Associate Degree Nursing program, and by the time the students get to our core courses, they often times have taken several prerequisite courses here at NWTC.  They already have some sense of community.  However, there are often a few student, who because of being shy, unable to step out of their comfort zone or are feeling uncomfortable, they don’t bond or participate readily.  I intend to do the following in my Nursing Skills course:

  • Students are encouraged to identify a “buddy” who they can practice with and then complete a Performance Assessment Task in a role play where they demonstrate a skill playing the nurse/patient roles.
  •  This encourages peer learning as well as building community.
  •  I have noted while meeting this students that those students who struggle in class are the ones who do not identify a “buddy”, attempt to practice the skills alone, and do not come into our lab and practice; they attempt to memorize the skills at home without peer interaction.
  •  By week 3,  I will ask in class who has not identified a “buddy” to study with, if someone has not done this, then I will facilitate finding them a “buddy”.

Time will tell if this strategy with influence our Edware results, however it is one attempt to promote students success.

One thought on “I have been inspired!

  1. I wish you well in building community and you should find success for as Confucius reminds us, “When you drink from the spring, remember the source.”

    It appears the ancient Greeks had a word for the “buddy system” that is, Koinonia= spirit of working together for the sake of a greater good and the well being of others – given the profession of nursing. Koinoinia says “two heads or more are better than one.” Individuals are not in opposition, but they work together becoming contributors of a pool of common ideas which are open to change and development.

    Today in education, we would refer to this process as “cooperative” learning where students can learn more when they work together, for working together results in a pool of common ideas, and helping one another learn more than individuals would learn on their own.

    Socrates and his friends discussed ideas with one another by asking questions, and sharing their ideas with one another which bound them together, thus they built and maintained a sense of collegiality and built “communio” = community. As you can see, there is nothing really new under the academic sun.

    Roger J. Vanden Busch

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