I recently read this article in Faculty Focus, by Maryellen Weimer, called “It’s Not About Hard or Easy Courses”. It made me think, are we missing the big picture when we look at our student’s successes and failures? Are our courses designed with student success in mind or with a reputation of having high standards? I am not saying lower our expectations from our students, or give special considerations. What I am saying is to be the best teacher you can be to help your students succeed! We need to think about our students in our classroom, not our past classrooms or future classrooms but our present classrooms. We need to focus on what these students need out of our instructing to succeed. I want to do everything in my power to help my students become successful CDA! I want to be proud that they came from my Institution, from my program, from my classroom. I want them to come back and thank me for having higher expectations from them, or for pushing them a little more, when I know they have it in them. Students are not going to remember you for being the “Easy” teacher! They are going to remember the teacher that worked hard at her job and gave a little more of herself in each and every class, and expected the same from her students. I want my students to have a full understand of what I am teaching, not only what is on the examination.
I know in our program we have “hard” courses and “easy” courses, it doesn’t always come down to instructors being easy on students or not being amazing at their jobs. Sometimes there are circumstances out of our control. If we were talking in terms of difficulty levels in a course, do you think nutrition and radiography taught to a CDA would be similar? Yes I am sure they can both have their highs and lows, but the bottom line is you have to compare apples to apples, and nutrition and radiography just aren’t the same type of fruit! One courses content is going to be easier than another, it doesn’t always come down to the instructor.
The same goes for some of the clinical skills we test our students on. I feel there are skills that are easier to master than other, and sometimes it’s hard to teach these simpler skills. If it seem easy the students seem to spend less time trying to perfect their skills. I can understand why, but sometimes I feel they are missing steps in an important skill because it comes across as less important because it’s easier?
I like how Weimer (2016) sums up this article, What students need are not hard or easy courses, but course experiences that result in lots of learning—where they master the material, further develop the sophisticated learning skills necessary for lifelong learning, and where the encounter leaves them breathless to learn more.
Her words give me goosebumps.This is exactly what I want my students to get out of my course. Skills that they can continue to use as they farther their educations or move on into their future careers. I don’t want them spending their school years just trying to memorize the facts.
Weimer, M. (2016, March 16th). It’s Not About Hard or Easy Courses. Faculty Focus.