Passion

the-best-thing-about-being-a-teacher

I just finished watching a TEDx Talk video, with Joe Ruhl, that I had saved a few months back.  I honestly couldn’t remember why I had saved it till I watched it again. Joe Ruhl is inspiring. His passion for teaching is obvious and infectious. He has created a desire in me to want to be the most amazing instructor I can be.

In this video, Joe talks about inspiring his students and teaching them what he calls the 5 C’s.

Choice

Collaboration

Communication

Critical thinking

Creativity

Four of his 5 C’s are considered essential twenty-first-century skills all children should learn. He added CHOICE to the list as a characteristic of the classroom.

Joe believes in a student centred learning approach in his classroom. He explains in this video a bit about how he uses the 5 C’s in his classroom.  At the end of the video, Joe Introduces a number 6 “C” and what he calls the most important C of all.

Caring

What are your students going to remember most from your teaching? What do you want them to remember most? Do you want them to remember that you gave challenging final exams? That you were always on time for class?

Or do you want your students to remember that you gave an extra 10 %? That you stayed late to help a struggling student or that you spent extra time creating interesting games to help your students as a review. For me my students are individuals. They each bring a little something special to my classroom. I want them to know that I see their special skills, that they don’t go unnoticed and that I truly am interested in their personal wellbeing and their families. I want to inspire them to fall in love for their new profession. To be the most amazing dental assistants they can be.

I have included a link to the TEDx Talk Video: Teaching Methods for Inspiring the Students of the Future with Joe Ruhl. It is almost 18 minutes long but I do recommend watching the full video, the last two minutes is when He really gets into inspiring your students.

Enjoy!

 

Quote retrieved from Pinterest  at https://www.pinterest.com/pin/82120393184734591/

Kahoot!

tell-me-and-i-forget

As part of my PIDP 3240 course we have multiple forum based discussions where we share links to articles and online resources. One of the resource that caught my eye was the website Kahoot. For any of you unfamiliar with the site, you can create online quizzes, surveys and discussions. They have 11.2 million public kahoots you can use if you don’t have time or don’t want to create your own. I have had no problem finding quizzes that fit in multiple topics for my certified dental assisting program. I am pretty sure with 11.2 million there is something for almost every topic out there. The hardest part is going to be figuring out which one fits your needs best.

I was so excited to have an opportunity to introduce Kahoot to my students yesterday.  I had been trying to find the perfect class to incoperate an online game/quiz. In my class I was introducing the facial and cranial bones and  I was lucky enough to find a Kahoot that covered the exact same information I was teaching.

I used a Kahoot quiz as a review of what I had taught that class. I wanted to keep it short and pretty basic, nothing overwhelming for their first time.  I decided to play the team mode vs one on one, to make it less intimidating for any struggling students and more of an overall collaborative experience. I have to say Kahoot was a hit! My students loved it! They thought it was lots of fun and the perfect way to end our class for the weekend.To top it off the other instructor in my program could hear all the laughing and asked where she could find the link.

Kahoot was also helpful to me. From the student’s results, I learned that on one question 5 out of the 7 groups answered it wrong.  This feedback shows me what area of the subject matter my students were struggling with and now I have a starting point for my next class.

I would highly recommend this website to new and experienced instructors.

Have fun! Explorer! Learn!

https://getkahoot.com/

CHANGE

change

Why do we continue to lecture, when the results keep telling us they are not the best way to deliver content? Why do we teach to only one learning style?  Students have changed, they expect more for their instructors and the same old boring lessons day after day are not going to be enough for them.  We all know why we do it because change is hard, it’s messy and takes a lot of energy. It’s not that we are lazy if we were lazy we wouldn’t be instructors. This job is not designed for lazy people. I have never worked so hard at a job as I have as an instructor. But I have to say the rewards are just as huge as the effort you put in. The day you get to pass your students their diploma’s, is worth all the hard work. It makes every late night and early morning easier.  It reminds me of being a parent. I can barely remember the sleepless nights and the exhausting days because the reward of a watching my children grow is a hundred times larger than any sleepless night.

Lucky for me I am a new instructor, I am not set in my ways. I actually don’t have any ways yet. Change is easier if you have never set expectations. My courses are planned, laid out and tied with a pretty bow but they aren’t mine. They aren’t my information, my research, I am not tied to them. It’s time for me to get creative, start using some of the new tools I have been learning about from my PIDP courses and put my students learning first. It’s time for me to start making some changes.

IF I KNEW THEN: A Letter to Me on My First Day Teaching

I posted this video because these teachers are real, they are honest and they hold nothing back. They made me laugh, made me cry and made me nod my head in agreement. They don’t pretend that teaching is an easy job. They admit it’s hard but very rewarding.

Looking back to over 2 years ago, when I first started instructing, I wonder what advice future me would have given to help me prepare for my first day? I found it very hard coming into a program half way through the year. The students were unsure of me. They doubt my teaching skills, (no surprise since it was my first day EVER!!). It probably didn’t help I was only 4-5 years older than half of them. They had doubt, I had doubt, some days I still have doubt. Even though in two short years my confidence has grown, along with my teaching, it’s still hard work. Our program changes students every year. I feel I have to re-prove to each class that I have experience and that I am knowledgeable. I think this is why I feel this video needs to be reposted and also why I love the first chapter in Brookfield’s book. They both are straight from the heart, nothing hidden, nothing fake, just real comments to explain that teaching is an emotional roller coaster, with highs and lows, but so very much worth the work in the end!!

I wanted to include my favourite words of wisdom from the teacher’s in this video:

You will fail, you will make mistakes, except it with grace and humility.

Never stop learning.

Ask for and admit you need help.

Lives and futures depend on you!

References:

Soulpancake. May 3, 2014. If I Knew Then: A Letter to Me on My First Day Teaching.

Reposted from:

https://youtu.be/miPYLJI247g

Teaching to Diversity

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Is it possible to teach to every student’s unique learning style and needs? Even with multiple types of teaching approaches it is still going to be an endless struggle. Classes are always changing, it’s hard to say what dynamic of race, personalities and learning styles, are going to walk into your classroom next.  Now a days there is just so much diversity. You have multicultural classrooms with self- directed learners, and highly teacher dependent learners. Things get even more interesting when you have English as a second language for some students. This is where using a feedback instrument is going to pay a big part in you instructing. It can help you get an understanding of where your students are in their learning and where you may to make some adjustments.

In Chapter 8, of The Skillful Teacher, Brookfield gives some examples of excellent teaching approaches he uses. Brookfield (2015)  states variations and experimentation are always bounded by our personalities, abilities, knowledge and experience. We have limits, as individual instructors. He refers to team-teaching as one of his most successful teaching approaches, especially when the right mix of personalities, teaching styles and racial backgrounds are combined. I am so lucky this is how I get to instruct in clinic everyday, so i know first hand what a great success this can be.

Reference:

Brookfield, S.D (2015). The Skillful Teacher: On Trust, technique and responsiveness in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Creating a Positive Learning Environment:

child with computer

“Creating a Positive Learning Environment for Adults” By James Ballou

http://www.brighthub.com/education/online-learning/articles/41064.aspx

This article clearly lists guidelines in creating a positive learning environment in adult education. There were multiple articles available but this one really addresses the needs of adult learners. We instruct adult learners differently than children learners and how we create a positive learning environment will vary just the same.

Creating a positive learning environment is more than just making it warm and welcoming, like for children. This article touches on key points for adults, like have clearly laid out expectations and giving professional feedback. These ideas are simple changes that I can easily introduce into my classroom.

Full citations for the above references are available on my Reference page, listed under Resources.