This blog started as a course assignment for PIDP 3250 Instructional Strategies which is part of the Provincial Instructor Diploma offered by Vancouver Community College. PIDP3250 explores the role of motivation and active learning to engage students in the classroom. I plan to continue to use this blog as an outlet for my explorations in how to better engage my students.
I am primarily involved in teaching microbiology to first-year nursing students. I’ve been studying diseases for as long as I can remember. My parents made the unfortunate mistake of purchasing a set of medical encyclopedias which I would use to “diagnose” my little sister with a variety of rare, fatal diseases. From there, one of my high school biology teachers suggested I do some extra reading to keep me from causing trouble in the classroom. The AIDS epidemic was just identified and I jumped into the topic with both feet. After high school, I want on to study microbiology at the University of Guelph and Queen’s University.
I’ve always been a “teacher”. As a Gr. 8 student, I tutored my mom when she went back to get her high school diploma. Career counseling in high school identified “college professor” as the only job for me. My guidance counselor tried to warn me not to be limited by the process when testing came back with 1 job possibility. He nearly fell off his chair when I said that I was thinking I wanted to be a college professor. I was 16. In university, we had to form study groups in order to survive the demands of the program. I remember thinking of what I would do differently when I was a professor. In graduate school, I was a teaching assistant for award-winning professors and textbook authors. With that experience and determination to do better, I still made the rookie mistake of expecting the students to be where I was when I started my faculty job. Part of that rookie year was self-evaluations which were reviewed by the Dean. During my evaluation meeting, my Dean made an statement that has rung true for me. I was impressed with his 33 years of teaching experience and valued his advice. He humbly stated, “I don’t know if I have 33 years of experience or 1 year of experience 33 times”. Since then, I’ve been constantly looking for ways to improve my teaching. I registered for the PIDP because I felt I needed professional help.
So this blog is a new chapter in professional development for me. I’m making my questions, mistakes and ignorance in teaching open for all to read. Please be kind in the comments. I’m open to constructive criticism, but please remember this blog is just the ramblings of some college instructor that just wants to be better than I am right now. I’m certainly no expert and I don’t have nearly the number of 1st year experiences as my Dean. Like me, the blog is definitely a work in progress.
Header Photo Credit: http://www.photos-public-domain.com/2011/06/07/blue-flowers-wallpaper-texture/