I have been teaching at Camosun college for the past 2 years, and have been a Registered Nurse for almost 20 years. When I first began teaching, I realized that being an RN gave me many skills that help with teaching, but I was missing some important education specific to being a college instructor! This PIDP program has helped so much. I feel more confident in the classroom with each course I take! PIDP 3260 is the sixth course I have taken and I am enjoying this journey. Follow this page to learn more about my journey through PIDP 3260 specifically.
Many of these blog entries will be reflections on the textbook, “The Skillful Teacher” By Stephen D.Brookfield.
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Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI)
Here is a copy of my Teaching Perspectives Inventory. It was interesting for me to analyze and examine. As a nursing instructor I realized that transmission (having mastery of the subject matter). I strongly believe and try to do the readings I assign to students, be prepared and meet the outlined course objectives. I also try to be skilled as a nurse and work to demonstrate this to my students. The results of the TPI do reflect how I view myself as an instructor. Here is the link to a description of the 5 inventories, I found this helpful when interpreting. http://www.teachingperspectives.com/tpi/
The Skillful Teacher – Chapter 1: Thoughts and Reflections
This week I read Chapter 1 of the Skillful Teacher by Stephen Brookfield.
I like his somewhat opinionated way of writing, and I found myself relating to a lot of what he was saying. After almost 20 years as a nurse, going into a teaching role was an interesting transition. I have felt many emotions during my teaching experience and vulnerability has been an emotion that I was surprised to feel. When Brookfield (2015) outlines his, “truths of teaching”, I felt that I was reading my own thoughts. Accepting these ‘truths’ helps to ease this roller coaster of emotions I have experienced.
My 2 favorite truths were: ” I will always feel like and imposter and will never lose the sense of amazement I feel when people treat me as if I have something valuable to offer.” And ” I cannot motivate anyone to learn if at a very basic level they do not wish to. All I can do is try to remove whatever organizational, psychological, cultural, interpersonal, or pedagogic barriers are getting in the way of their learning, provide whatever modelling I can, build the best possible case for learning, and then cross my fingers and hope for the best.” (P.9)
I liked the way that Brookfield states that this is his experience and once you accept these experimental truths, you can have confidence in your teaching ability. I am looking forward to reading more of this book.
Brookfield, S. (2015). The skillful teacher: on technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
The Skillful Teacher – Chapter 2: Thoughts and Reflections
This week I continued to read Brookfield’s book. This chapter focussed on his informed assumptions of skillful teaching. He explains that the 4 assumptions are:
- “Skillful teaching is whatever helps students learn,
- Skillful teachers adopt a critically reflective stance toward their practice
- The most important knowledge that skillful teachers need to do good work is a constant awareness of how students are experiencing their learning and perceiving teacher’s actions
- College students of any age should be treated as adults. (Brookfield, 2015. P.15)”
The assumption that Brookfield discusses about having a critically reflective stance towards teaching practice is the assumption that really stuck with me. On page 21 he points out that instructors who critically reflect on their practice prevent teaching from becoming stale. Job satisfaction is so important, and thinking about our teaching and what we do everyday will help us stay motivated and engaged in teaching. I think this book is giving me insight into teaching and the values I hoped in my profession.
Reference: Brookfield, S. (2015). The skillful teacher: on technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Critical Reflection is it necessary?
I love FacultyFocus (https://www.faculty focus.com), the articles always seem so relevant to me, and I seem to get ‘aha’ moments everytime I take a read.
This article is written by Maryellen Weimer (who I think writes so well!) and she poses the question, “Does it matter when we say one thing but then do another?” In my opinion, it sure does! The quote from this article that I liked was:
“And you don’t grow as a teacher if you aren’t regularly subjecting your practice and your philosophy to thoughtful analysis…A fundamental goal for every educator should be to grow continually as a teaching professional. Such instructional growth requires hard work and commitment.” (Weimer, 2010).
So much of what instructors do day to day requires some degree of reflection. There are days where we feel so proud and excited about our class or interaction with students, and other days we cry, “do over!”. It is important to never stop considering a day’s practice and reflecting on it all. Personally, I get satisfaction from continual growth and inquiry. It is what I want my students to do too, so its probably a good idea to model my goals!
Weimer, M. (2010, September 02). Keeping Teaching Philosophy and Instructional Practice on the Same Page. Retrieved July 18, 2017, from https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/philosophy-of-teaching/keeping-teaching-philosophy-and-instructional-practice-on-the-same-page/
I read The Skillful Teacher (Brookfield, 2015) Chapter 18 for this week’s blog discussion. The subject was Exercising Power Responsibly. I was interested in this chapter, since I often think about the power relationships that exist in the classroom. I often have a sense of vulnerability when I am infront of the class, knowing that the students are listening and taking what I say as the truth of the subject. I am aware of the power that I have as the faciliator of their learning. I liked Brookfield’s explanation of how skillful teachers recognize their power and prove to students that they will use it responsibly. His description of being authentic, transparent and responsive made me reflect on my own teaching and I could think of times when maybe my unawareness of my power in a situation changed the outcome.
Reflection on my Professional Growth….
Currently I am working as an instructor in the Practical Nursing Program at Camosun College. Professionally I am right where I want to be. I have been an RN for almost 20 years and have enjoyed a lot of variety in my career. I realized that every role I have had lead me to teaching. I feel at home in the classroom and am passionate about supporting my Nursing profession by teaching.
In five years time, I can see me participating in research and mentorship in Nursing Education. I also see myself having completed my Masters in Nursing and continuing to grow professionally as an instructor. Finishing my PIDP and utilizing the teaching and learning center at camosun to stay focussed on learning opportunities will be important for me to meet my professional goals.
Reference: Brookfield, S. (2015). The skillful teacher: on technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
This week my reflection is focussed on Chapter 17 of the Skillful Teacher, “Responding to student’s resistance to learning.” I was interested to read this chapter, since I often wonder why students are complaining or disengaged when they are paying for an opportunity to learn. I realized while reading this book, that there are reasons for disengagement that are instructor driven, and some that are learner driven. This chapter clarifies that there will always be some students that are resistant to what you have to teach, the course, or the program in general. Knowing and understanding this is helpful. What stood out for me is the section that asks, “Ask yourself if the resistance is justified.” This is a humbling statement, because sometimes the resistance is completely justified and can be easily changed. Thoroughout this entire learning process I have realized that reflection is key. Asking yourself the hard questions makes challenges like the resistant learner bearable! Brookfield gives some good tips and strategies to give insight to the resistant learner.
Currently we are working on an analysis and solution to ethical dilemmas. Being a Registered Nurse, there is a code of Ethics we must follow. A job requirement to be an nursing instructor is to have a current practicing license. I can see that in a profession where it is necessary to determine the competency of care professionals, that the instructors must consider the ethical responsibility they hold. For me, considering the Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses is what guides my professional ethical decisions. I am also aware that my faculty colleagues are also accountable to the same Code of Ethics, which makes me feel confident when we face ethical decisions as a teaching team. Code of Ethics for BC Registered Nurses can be found here: https://www.crnbc.ca/Standards/ProfessionalStandards/Pages/EthicalPractice.aspx
“It isn’t important why people follow ethical guidelines. It could be out of a high moral sense or out of a concern about what would happen to them if they did not. What is important is that a code of ethics establishes a basis for working together that involves more than how productive someone is or where someone falls in the organization hierarchy. Having a clearly stated code of ethics supports the concept of dignity as
the central factor that drives human interaction in the workplace. Most organizational codes of ethics clearly call for behaviours that demand that people treat each other with respect.” (Taken from the PIDP 3260 Course materials.http://moodle.vcc.ca/pluginfile.php/801111/mod_resource/content/2/3260%20Course%20Book%20Ch%207%20p59-77.pdf)
Reviewing Chapter 6 of the Skillful Teacher (see reference above), Brookfield talks about Lecturing Creatively. In the Practical Nursing Program where I teach, lecture is a common method of instruction. Throughout my learning in the PIDP program, I have been evaluating and questioning if my classroom methods are the right choices for the student’s learning. I realized that there is a place for lecturing, and I enjoyed how Brookfield summarized some ideas to make the lecture more ‘learner centered’. Specifically the idea of beginning each lecture with a question to be answered. I often start a class reviewing the outcomes of the class, but even more engagement and clarity would be reached if I formed a question that will be answered. I think this will provide clarity and interest from the students, and maybe even more value, reinforcing their need to be in the classroom!
How I do NOT want my students to feel about their experience in Nursing School:
This is a process that occurs in the institutions that I teach in, and care for clients in. The Nursing Program engages in ongoing accreditation to establish that they are a program that produces safe, competent nurse graduates. The Health Authority undergoes accreditation to instill confidence in the care that clients receive. I found a good video from Accrediation Canada, explaining about what they do.
For this week, I just finished writing a critical reflection on a quote from Brookfield’s book. The quote is, “No philosophy, theory, or model can possibly capture or explain every single aspect of the idiosyncratic reality that is your own experience as a teacher.”(p.269) I thought this was such a great quote. It is true we all have differing experiences as instructors and as students. I love the learning that I am gaining in this PIDP course, and the theory is so solid!I am also excited to put new ideas into practice and make them unique to me in the classroom. This chapter (Chapter 16) is titled, “Staying Sane: 16 Maxims of Skillful Teaching”. The quote I shared was from Maxim #5 – Be Wary of Standardized Models and Approaches, the other Maxims I quite liked wereMaxim #6 – Regularly Learn something new And Difficult, and Maxim #10 – Rember that Learning is Emotional. I find the author’s style of writing to be quite wordy, and academic, but I really enjoy reading thelessons that he has gained in his teaching experience. I have learned a great deal from reading this book and think its been really worthwhile. This chapter summarizes his experiences in a grounded and somewhat humourous way.
As a nurse, I am expected to always engage in life-long professional learning. I am required to keep learning, keep up to date with that is new in my profession. The same is for being an instructor. We need to keep up to date, read what we ask students to read, and continue to learn about ourselves and our profession. That is what will make work interesting and dynamic!
It has been one year since I took my first course in the PIDP program. Before I began this program I was a nurse, doing my best to educate nursing students, without any skills specific to the classroom other than the experience I had as a student. I have gained so much from this journey. I am passionate about teaching and Nursing and I am feeling more confident every day about putting into practice what I have learned. Mostly, I came to discover that it is in me to be a skilled instructor and with some reflection, challenge and change I am emerging ans acompetent Nurse Educator that has many gifts to give students.
The media focus in this program has helped me look at my skills and adapt to what the 21st century student expects in the classroom. Being exposed to blogging, Twitter, and digital projects, has helped me see that there is more to media than just PowerPoint and you tube videos! I have begun to think of myself as a teacher, and look at ways to make the learning experience better for my students. I look forward to using formative evaluation, different engagement techniques and facilitating discussion to have some ‘aha’ moments for students! This program has provided me with the foundation to transition from ‘just a nurse’ to a nurse educator.
Here is a link to my Digital Project – an animated video looking at Peer Evaluation as a strategy for feedback.