As you are planning your first day of class, start out in a way that makes all students feel valued and included. Joan Klinkner and I attended an amazing conference this summer on Gender Creative Early Learners. Our keynote speaker Jess Dallman shared this business card with the group. Instead of saying Ladies or Men etc try a gender neutral term or phrase like “Good morning everyone,” “And for you” or “Welcome in today.” This is a simple change to making everyone fee valued and acknowledged.
Always remember: Don’t allow personal attacks AND don’t personalize remarks. This can be very challenging as everyone’s first response to “personalize” the situation. A key tool in any learning environment is successful and respectful interaction with learners (and the work / team environment too!!!). When communicating (verbally, in writing, or face to face) and corresponding with learners (colleagues) about “heated moments” It is prudent to ‘depersonalize’ the communication /correspondence by not using “you” and “I” but referencing the “issue” and the “course of action or resolution”.
For example if a student email states “You gave me a 69% on the last quiz and I don’t think it was fairly graded.” A response might look something like this: “Thank you for the email inquiry regarding performance on the LP 6 quiz. In review of the quiz, questions 4, 5 and 9 were not thoroughly / accurately addressed. Content focusing on the specific types of elder abuse; who are the most common perpetrators, and the four requirements for reporting elder abuse would have greatly improved performance on the quiz.”
It takes conscious thought and effort to develop this communication philosophy but take it from me ….. it most often does defuse the “heated moment” and directs attention to the issue at hand.
Do You Have a Plan For the Future?
Have you given any thought to your wishes regarding….
- What health care services you would choose to receive if you became incapacitated?
- What life-support means to you?
- What kind of medical treatment you would want if you were close to death?
- What kind of medical treatment you would want if you were in a coma and not expected to wake up?
- What kind of medical treatment you would want if you sustained permanent, severe brain damage and were not expected to recovery?
- Who would make these decisions for you in the event that you could not?
If you were close to death:
- How comfortable do you want to be?
- How do you want people to treat you?
- What do you want your loved ones to know?
If not, know you are not alone. A 2014 study by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that nearly 2/3rd of Americans did not any form of advanced directive. In other words, only 26% of Americans did have advanced directives in place. In addition, it is important to note that at the time of death, only half of us are able to make our own decisions.
An advanced directive is a legal document that states your medical wishes in the event you are unable to express them and includes a living will and power of attorney for healthcare. An alternative advanced directive is the “Five Wishes” document which is legal in a majority of states and can be found at this link: https://www.agingwithdignity.org/five-wishes.
Completing and advanced directive is only the first step in getting your affairs in order. Please do take the time to visit this link: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/getting-your-affairs-order. It does an excellent job of helping you “Plan for the Future”.
Truly there is no greater gift a family can receive than that of having your life and death wishes clearly outlined and your personal affairs in order.
This is not about dying, but living the life you wish to live.
Marinette campus nursing students hold a wellness event while enrolled in a class titled, Health Promotion. Students work in pairs or trios to bring health related information to other students, as well as faculty an staff who attend the event. Topics are chosen from the Healthy People initiatives and are specific to young and middle age adults. It is a fun and highly engaging event where students work with a population that is different than they typically do as clinical usually is centered around disease processes. Examples of topics include: distracted & impaired driving, stress management, sleep, exercise, nutrition, smoking cessation, eye safety in the workplace, ergonomics, and the list goes on. It has been a great way to bring students together from many different programs.
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.
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!
I am using discussion board and Facebook in my online class in hopes to stimulate better discussions and engage students! Continue reading
Almost everyone has heard the term emotional intelligence (EI). We discuss EI at NWTC through College 101 training. It is described in great detail in Chapter 8 in Skip Downing’s textbook, On Course. And we recognize “lack” of emotional intelligence with inappropriate student behavior. However, how do we use emotional intelligence with our own faculty ePerformance? Continue reading
The greatest hurdle to participation in the early days of a course can be comfort level with classmates. Want a cool way to ‘break the ice’? Try Human Bingo!
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