How can I prepare for my first teaching job?

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    I currently have my BSN and will finish my MSN next spring. However, I dont plan on actually applying for my first teaching job (which I hope will be a nursing instructor at a community college I attended) for a few more years, as I want my kids to be in school.
    So I have a few years to ready myself. I currently work fulltime Med/Surg which I feel helps me keep up my skills. I also mentor the students and new hires.
    I feel like I need to work on my public speaking skills, as I still get pretty nervous speaking in front of groups. I am looking into Toastmasters. Any other ideas on how to learn public speaking so I am prepared for the classroom? I dont really want to do presentations at my work as there isnt really time for me to do any presentations and my DON is unsupportive of the idea.
    Besides learning public speaking, is there anything you recommend I do in the next while to prepare me for the real world?
    Thanks!
    Jessica
  2. 6 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    I taught CPR, First Aid, etc. to a lot of my scouts. See if a local Boy or Girl Scout troop needs people to teach skills. After 30+ years of Scouts, I can stand in front of anyone and teach. Kids are a lot more forgiving than adults, and you get down on the floor and show how to do CPR or tie bandages or start fires or build things or make makeshift stretchers with ponchos and walking sticks......

    Boy Scouts especially need merit badge counselors for a variety of badges, and the merit badge books are explicit about what the skills are they need to learn, so it isn't as though you have to prepare a curriculum from scratch.
  4. 0
    I also have taught CPR, First Aid, Safe Sitter babysitting classes, and all these classes to homeschooling groups as well. All these things, as the previous poster suggested, are a great way to gain experience and confidence in front of a group of people. Just like she said, I can do just about anything in front of a group of people now. And kids can learn all these skills at the preteen level, and they are not intimidating at all. Besides, its is really great fun teaching people skills they will use all their lives. It will also let you know if you actually like instructing before doing it. It helped me to know that I love it.
  5. 3
    More than learning public speaking, I would suggest finding ways to communicate your passion for the subject you will teach. This can be practiced as a mentor. Nearly anyone can learn to be a "talking head" at the front of a classroom, but it's a real art to inspire and to incite students to think critically. If we only present facts to the students, we can't be surprised when they aren't able to answer application level questions.

    After I assign a reading assignment, I ask questions like "What do you think is the worst thing that could happen physically to a patient with ______(ex- CHF exacerbation) during a shift? What would you do if it happened? What would you do first? Which of these activities could you delegate?"

    My class sessions are a dialogue, not at all a monologue. I spend very little time in straight "lecture" mode. Also, reading books on teaching can be helpful. Some good ones:
    Joy of Teaching by Filene and Bain
    Creative teaching strategies for the nurse educator by Herrman
    Teaching strategies for nurse educators by DeYoung
    Evaluating and testing in nursing education by Oermann and Gaberson

    That's a start. Also, the NLN offers certification as a nurse educator once you have been a full-time educator for two or more years. There is a great list of references available for the test, and there are many great books on this list that will help as you start your career. Here's a link.
    http://www.nln.org/facultycertificat...references.pdf
    Sunflower3, showbizrn, and QTBabyNurse like this.
  6. 0
    Sorry, I am just now getting back to reply. Thanks for all the great ideas! I will check out the recommended books. I also am in the works of talking with the Red Cross to see what areas they need teachers in.
    Thanks!
  7. 0
    Thank you, I am going to try and get another teaching job after having failed the first time. (MSN nursing ed 2006)
  8. 0
    Wow,
    first, be ready to put in the hours!!!! I expected after hours time, but- if you are truly a perfectionist, and not a person who just says they are a perfectionist, expect to spend lots of time on off hours. Also, if your motives are purely good--to have an impact and improve clinical practice in a profession where this seems to be sliding, or even to make the education part less stressful so the students can learn better-- be ready to have your heart ripped out by students who do not care about your motives or care about the patients, but only their grades, HESI crap, and getting through their horrible experience of school.

    Nobody seems to be thinking about what happens after they finish--not the students or the instructors. But.... that was the whole reason I chose education--to impact their practice early. Oh well.


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