Encouraging engagement in the classroom

One of the factors that I have found to be successful in creating and developing an engaged classroom is frequent encouragement to the learners and the creation of a SAFE ENVIRONMENT

During a recent class I had a student play the role of a resident in a nursing home with pneumonia.  I asked for a volunteer from the class to be the nurse caring for this patient.  I provided report to this nurse about the patient.  The student who volunteered to be the nurse could “consult w/ other nurses as needed.”  The student then prioritized her assessments.

After the data was collected groups worked together to call the physician regarding the patient.  I role played the physician and each group practiced calling.

Later we debriefed on the scenario-what went well/what could be improved.

The day after I sent the following email to students in the class

“Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation, as any painter’s or sculptor’s work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said the finest of Fine Arts.”

– Florence Nightingale

Kudos to you yesterday….nurse Rachael and nurse Kelsie for being brave and taking an active role in assessing our patient….those who called the doctor and all that participated in analyzing data and developing priority plans of care…you are molding yourselves into the role of the graduate nurse


I have found that when I encourage students at regular intervals they begin to stretch their wings and become more and more active in their learning.


Flipping Out in the Classroom

I teach in the Photography Program and have been developing 5-week-long, blended, 1-credit, specialty courses.  The hours for these courses are split half in-class and half online.  My challenge: How do I get the students to go from learning content to mastering content given a short period of time in the classroom? The answer:  Applying some of the philosophies and techniques of “Flipping the Classroom”.  Continue reading

Why you should take a break


3 year olds have tasks too

As I stepped foot into the campus workout room for the first time in almost four years I wondered why it had been so long. Then I had a series of flashbacks (the scriptwriting instructor side of me wants to format my flashbacks properly for film, but I will refrain). I visualized my two small children and husband, a messy house, an infinitely long grading list, class prep work, an uneaten lunch, and a clock reading 1am. Now it all makes sense. Continue reading

Early On – Engagement and Empowerment

We know that our students are academically successful when they feel engaged on a personal level with their instructors and in a broad sense, the college as a whole. It only makes sense given that new students often feel “lost” in the institution. College has a new set of expectations, much different from high school. Unfortunately students may not be fully prepared for this transition. 

Continue reading