During nursing clinical orientation my students completed an activity to explore and discuss the employability skills. Each student was given a worksheet which listed each skill followed by two corresponding rows: Do and Do Not. Students worked independently to provide examples of what to do and what not to do for each skill. Following this, the class regrouped and shared ideas. It was well received and excellent examples were provided. This was a fun and easy way to discuss the employability skills along with professionalism and role development in a highly engaging manner.
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!
Does your student’s portfolio fully showcase their skills and talents? There can be many approaches to building a portfolio and what to include in it. I have found the more specific the requirements has sometimes resulted in less creative and less unique portfolios. But without a guideline of what should be included and how one could be organized, students often feel lost and unsure of where to begin. In addition, if you require a portfolio for a class or a program you know how difficult it can be to assess.
In a previous post, I mentioned that I demonstrated the value of cooperative learning with a class activity. I like to tell the students that we are taking a trip to the moon, but in reality it’s a team building exercise. Continue reading
The question is, “What do students get out of participating in the High Impact Practice of Cooperative Learning?” Before getting to the survey results, let’s set the stage.
The final capstone of Teaching Methods 2.0 challenged me to analyze a negative situation in my classroom and develop a vision of the desired future reality, then implement an intervention. Continue reading
Do you remember the infamous Father Guido from Saturday Night Live? He had a popular skit called the “5 Minute University” where he joked about starting his own college that took just five minutes, since the average college graduate only remembers five minutes worth of information five years after finishing school. Continue reading
Do your first-year students struggle to move beyond memorization and thinking to learning and applying? You can support your first-year students with methods and practices that will improve their abilities to problem solve, analyze, and draw conclusions.
Your practices within and outside the classroom are critical for enabling your first-year students to successfully transition into higher learning. As you prepare to teach your next first-year course, consider these ideas:
- Active Classroom Learning – First-year students need plenty of hands-on practice applying concepts. Keep lecture time short, and intersperse activities that give students the opportunity to make use of higher level reasoning and problem solving.
- In-Class Reviews – Because first-year students may lack study skills, it is beneficial to help them develop these skills for test preparation. A thoughtfully created review that encourages problem solving and analytical skills can be completed in class to ensure students are effectively working through the study process.
- Classroom Office Hours – Students may be hesitant to make use of instructor office hours, especially those in first-year courses. Make it easy for them to access you outside of class time by moving your office hours to a classroom setting. In addition to breaking down barriers for approachability, this also allows you to serve groups of students more easily.
- Service Learning – Service learning offers the opportunity for students to simultaneously serve the community, gain career skills, and earn course credit. Accounting students taking the Computerized Tax class participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) service learning project, in which they provide basic tax preparation services to low- and moderate-income households. This is a great way for students to gain real-world experience, apply concepts, and meet a community need.
These ideas will help you transform your first-year students’ habits and thinking into skills that promote higher learning.
A very successful cohort
How would you like to be part of a group of people, who share the same goals, help each other achieve those goals, and build long-lasting relationships while doing so? In this environment you have partners that you can share ideas with, exchange information and recourses and have a strong support group.
Am I talking about IPA?……NO…… Continue reading
My role as the only full time microbiology instructor at NWTC has allowed me to lead my team of adjuncts in the goals of bringing consistency to the delivery of the curriculum and improving student success rates. Continue reading
Helping students make the connection between a college course and their desired career isn’t always an easy task, especially for those that teach in General Studies. At the same time, many students fail to see the critical importance of the employability skills (aka core abilities) that we’re all integrating and assessing in our classrooms. I’ve been using a simple activity in my Oral/Interpersonal Communication class that could easily be adapted for most other courses to assist students with these very issues. Continue reading