new and struggling

  1. Hello!
    I am new to Nursing Education, having started teaching in a nursing program this past August after many years of clinical practice. My advanced degree is not in Education, so my biggest challenge has been, of course, learning how to teach. There isn't any formal orientation to this process at our institution and after reviewing some student feedback, I can honestly say, I feel worse now than ever. I thought that I had made some strides in the second quarter, but my students found my lectures confusing, and they found me blunt. Going into Spring Semester now has me feeling worse than ever. While I realize that the end goal is not popularity, I am quite concerned that my students learn the material and can carry it forward.

    Can anyone offer any tips or advice about starting out, or what you found helpful, etc.?

    Thank you,
    novice7
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    About novice7

    Joined: Dec '17; Posts: 6; Likes: 1

    7 Comments

  3. by   Shanua
    Take what the students say with a grain of salt. Sort through and determine the feedback you can learn from and is applicable. There's is always feedback you can't change (the content of the course, the passing standards, the testing) but you can improve your teaching. You can ask for specifics. Try a flipped classroom where the students teach. Try case studies or other methods. Students today are hard. Lectures aren't always where or how they learn. Ask other instructors. Observe other teachers. Ask more specific feedback. What can be improved? and how would you do this? Students can usually offer good suggestions and things you wouldn't think of.
  4. by   novice7
    Thank you Shauna. I appreciate your feedback.
    novice7
  5. by   Pixie.RN
    Novice7, have you done any coursework in teaching? There are a lot of post-masters certificates in teaching that would help you greatly!
  6. by   dudette10
    I agree with the above poster who suggested to observe an experienced faculty member. Also, you have to glean what is important in your student surveys. What is a consistent theme mentioned? Work on that.

    Students appreciate faculty who return grades and emails quickly, who modify their teaching based on student feedback and performance, who use a variety of teaching strategies, who are clear on expectations.

    There are a lot of great nursing education textbooks out there. You can probably get them from your school's library or inter-library loan. My favorites are:

    Oermann and Gaberson, Evaluation and Testing in Nursing Education
    Bradshaw and Lowenstein, Innovative Teaching Strategies in Nursing
    Gaberson, Oermann, and Shellenbarger, Clinical Teaching Strategies in Nursing
    McDonald, Guide to Assessing Learning Outcomes
    Hessler, Flipping the Nursing Classroom

    Good luck!
  7. by   novice7
    Dudette,
    Thank you for the advice and resources! I waited a good week and reread the feedback. While the negatives did not disappear, a fresh eye did allow me the chance to pull out what I felt was truly constructive and useful information. I'm working hard for Soring on consistency and review, making sure they are getting it. Also, I am compiling a great list of resources. Thank you for adding some!
    I am a work in progress!
    novice7
    Last edit by novice7 on Dec 26, '17 : Reason: *Spring*
  8. by   Rod, Male Nurse
    Hi Novice7, first and foremost you cant please everyone. How many students are you teaching and what percentage are leaving poor comments? One quarter I taught 108 students and if I had to guess I got about 5 bad reviews. If I taught a class of 20 and had 5 bad reviews id take a deeper look. Some bad reviews are simply the student's problem and nothing the instructor did.

    that being said, if you have a high amount of bad reviews you should use it as constructive criticism...students doing evaluations on their instructors is a best practice concept in education because it allows the instructor to see areas of needed improvement.

    Do not simply read from a powerpoint...if im using a powerpoint then every slide has some patient story (fictitious or real) to go with it that I tell to my students. I try to employ methods of teaching that reaches all learning styles. Break up the monotony a little. I will randomly do "mock tests" and have the students complete them in class in a group of 3. Thats collaborative learning and is a best practice concept in education. The students feed off of each other as they discuss what is right and what is wrong. I use a site called Socrative.com to administer the mock tests and they log in using a computer or smart device...its easy, quick, and my students love it. I am a mess and have alot of my own personal stories that I throw into my lectures that are pretty funny. My experience with kidney stones, cutting into my leg with a chain saw, etc. I always use my past patients stories to help them gain an understanding of material. At times I have the class rolling in laughter, and other times I have a compelling story that always brings tears to my own eyes so they see their instructor truly has compassion. Dont make lecturing a task...make it an activity you love doing and your students will see your passion and begin to soak up information like sponges.
  9. by   novice7
    Rod,
    Thank you for the solid advice. I'm putting together a list of activities to engage my students in an active classroom. I always found straight lecture to be a bit monotonous but coming in new, I'm still trying to organize how to get the material presented completely. I like sharing real cases as well, but trying to balance it all out.
    Thank you again,
    Novice7

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