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.


Teaching Students How to Read a Textbook


Many students come to our classrooms prepared to read textbooks, but many others do not. Since class survival often depends on a student’s ability to read the course material efficiently, I spend time early in the class teaching them how a textbook should be read and how this process differs from reading a novel, a newspaper story, a comic book, or something on the Internet. Continue reading

Encouragement in the online environment….priceless

It seems we too often get wrapped up in the online tasks of grading assignments, checking due dates, answering emails, etc. I recently sent a simple email to an online student commending her on her work and encouraging her to continue her education beyond an Associate Degree. WOW…did that ever open the floodgates for this student. She is pursuing a degree with another technical college in the state and just happened to be in my online course this summer.

To quote “You’re a good instructor, Jane. You make me wish I was at your school to see what the rest of you are like. Keep it up. Too many of you -maybe not at Green Bay- have forgotten what it’s like to be in a student’s shoes. A gentle touch and a kind word get more out of us than backing us in a corner and screaming in our faces does.”

Starfish has been a great start, but even a simple email can really give a student the lift they need!

Rethink Finals

The end of the semester is upon us. A season many students, and instructors, dread…final exam season. Over the last week, I have been thinking about the effectiveness of my exams. Not all, but many are your typical exam. I started to plan review games, worksheets, or outlines and thought, “Is this helping me know what they know?” Since then I have been on a mission to change the end of my semester.

Continue reading

Motivating the “I Don’t Care” generation………

Well, I have started my class and it truly is amazing as well as everything that I have imagined!  I now know that in 4th grade when I said I was going to be a mom, a nurse, and a teacher when I grew up, I was right……I had it all figured out at the ripe old age of 10 years!  HAHA!  But, now that I have started teaching, I am posed with new problems that I never knew I would face.  After administering the first test and hearing each and everyone of the students complain about it, I couldn’t help but wonder……what did I do wrong?  I know it wasn’t me; I know the test was good and that the material was covered.  What was new to me was the fact that it appears some students are unmotivated or have the “I don’t care” attitude.  To be honest, this is shocking to me and I am wondering how I can motivate the “I don’t care” generation?  What techniques have any of you used to correct this?  What worked, what didn’t?  I am hoping to find references and answers from you, my colleagues, to help me move forward…………..hope to hear from you soon!

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

Blue Spark on the NWTC Marinette Campus…

Did you know that a Blue Spark has been lurking on the Marinette Campus for years?  Perhaps it has been smoldering waiting for the SPARK to catch?  It is part of the NWTC Art Collection.  It has even been recreated by staff in miniature version and sent to faculty serving overseas as a reminder of their NWTC home!

Artist:  James LaMalfa – Check it out:  Blue Spark Continue reading