Monday, November 16, 2009

My teaching adventures

I am a part time employee officially. It feels.... lazy. Especially when people keep asking me, "So, how many days are you working now?" and I have to respond, "2".
I completed my three official teaching sessions. I had a really good time too! In case you are interested, and even if you aren't, let me recap... Three weeks ago (it's a once a week, 3 hour class) I started off with a 35 minute PowerPoint presentation, then about an hour of concept mapping. I was naive, I thought the students would really be into the concept mapping but it took a bit longer than I could plan for and I did more of the interaction than I thought I'd have to. It continues to boggle my mind that these kids don't know a lot about nursing, assessments or how to put it all together. (They are only sophomores, and this is their first semester of hands-on nursing.) Because of my lecture and mapping, we had limited lab time. As I re-capped the lecture with my preceptor, we decided the next week we would spend much more time in lab and we would get a bit more interactive with the students. That week, I devised a quiz-like assignment that put them all in the lab at the start of class and we used washable markers and they drew important landmarks on each other. I mulled over lecture and ultimately decided to omit it from the class, instead I created my PowerPoint and simply printed it out for them. It was comprehensive so they really just needed to review it. We spent about 2 and a half hours in the lab, discussing assessments and practicing. I had a good time and their feedback told me they felt that they had learned a lot. The third class was a decent close to my time at the front of the room. They had an exam, which was a majority of the material I had presented so I'm anxious to see what their grades were. I had only about an hour and a half to present an accurate picture of a neuro assessment. I did lecture for about 10 minutes, looking back, I should have surpassed it again for the extra time in lab. We then spent the remaining time completing a neuro exam, doing some role playing (to apply the knowledge in a hospital situation where much of these skills they are learning will be applied) and discussing any questions they had. I gave them an evaluation following each class period, to give me a picture of their learning in each class and a larger, more formal evaluation of my teaching following the last class. They were overwhelmingly good, a few tips for next time were appreciated. I think they enjoyed my teaching style, I had fun with the three hours each week. I was always enthusiastic and probably pretty entertaining (a couple even told me I was). Like I said, I'm anxious to see how their exams turned out, that is a pretty large piece of the evaluation for a teacher.
Now, I have two large projects to complete, each about 8-10 pages a piece. And I have some residual grading to do from my weeks of lecture. A few things I learned: a lot of prep time goes into a three hour lecture, the more talking I do the bigger my headache is at the end of class (I need to hydrate during I think), the longer you wait after posing a question the more likely a brave soul will step forward to answer your question, using "real life" examples holds their attention better, and asking their opinion helps.
That's been my life lately. It's all new and exciting to me. And! my preceptor whispered to me during the beginning of the exam that she thinks I should teach the class next year and she would "put in a good word for me"! I have some good ideas to improve class and a few modifications I would love to see happen so the students have much more time for putting it together and using their brains. Only about 6 months till I'm a graduate of MSU with my MSNeD. May 7th here I come!

1 comment:

mommy nurse said...

You funny? You seem so serious! I am sure your evals will turn out great and your students will get the grades to show how awesome you are!