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.


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!

Don’t forget about the kid in all of us!

brown paper bag hat

I often forget that there is a kid in all of us.  My son’s kindergarten teacher asked for parent volunteers to fold brown paper bags into hats for the kindergarteners to paint and decorate for Easter hats.  I was the only parent to volunteer so I told the teacher I would bring the brown paper bags to school with me and ask some of my students to help me.  The students I asked were more than willing to help.  We had a blast in my office trying to fold brown paper bags into hats.  I forgot there is a kid inside all of us.  My students were laughing and taking selfies.  It was a great way to take a break away from the classroom and see the students in a different light.

Make your Noon Appointment

Have you struggled making group work effective in class?  I know I have.  I have a group in one of my classes where one person participates and the rest may chat or pretend to be working.  So, here is something I learned at the Dream Conference in Orlando this year that I am going to try…

You have a 2:00 appt.

You have a 2:00 appt.

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