Long before I became an instructor I chose the life of a lifelong learner, probably from the day I picked my career as a CDA. In the healthcare profession, lifelong learning is not a choice but a necessity. You need to stay current with licensed duties and professional obligations. Dentistry changes rapidly, there is always some new tool or material to buy and then learn about. We have annual continuing education credits we need, as well as clinical hours to log just to be able to renew our licences.
We are really fortunate to have a huge dental convention in Kelowna every October. The convention is spread out over three days and always has some great lectures, hands on courses, as well as a huge collection exhibitors. This is a great event to get all of our CE credits from but I also attend a variety of courses and lectures throughout the year. I enjoy attend local society meetings, and day workshops with some of my colleagues. I am currently looking into restarting up our CDA society in Kelowna. We haven’t had a local director in years, and I feel the Okanagan could really benefit from meetings and gathering just for CDA’s.
My plans for future as far as it goes for continuing my learning as an instructing, I plan on competing my instructor diploma in the next 2 years. I am going to continue with my current instructing position of 1 or 2 days clinical per week. I am always looking to expand into theory class whenever the chance comes up. Last year I accept a position instructing a continuing study course, for CDA’s. Even though most of the theory is online, I am getting experience instructing review sessions, as well as answering emails, marking assignments, and final exams. This year it sounds like I will have an opportunity to take on the main theory instructor position. This will mean more responsibility and more learning! I feel this a great learning experience because I am mentoring my peers verses instructing students that will be future CDA’s.
I am really lucky that my current employment at Okanagan College gives me access to a few of their distance education course they offer instructors. I took my first one last year, learner-centred instructing certificate. After I have complete my PIDP I plan to take the Service & Support in a Learner Centered Organization course. I feel this course and any future course I take will help me to better engage my students in a learner-centred instructing.
My goal as an instructor is to learn from the best, observe how they teach, how they assess, how they create positive rapports with their students, how they learn from their students and all the little things that go hand in hand with being a great instructor and a learner-centred instructor.