Published by the CFCC Teaching/Learning Institute.
Contact Person: Jim Roe, Building 3,Room 117J
Ocala Campus, Extension 1782 or 1708
Energetic, purposeful, creative, Central Florida Community College
promotes learning in an open, caring, inclusive environment which encourages
individual and community development inspired by shared values of
integrity, service, responsibility and diginity
A reflection on why we teach by Jim Roe, T/LI Coordinator
When did we start measuring time in sixteen-week blocks? At what point did we start planning work activities, family vacations, and health care based on semesters punctuated with attendance verification and grade entries? More importantly, why do we keep doing this? Here are some answers from our faculty.
- “I teach because I enjoy it so much. Teaching is a profession where one can see results: a teacher can see a student mastering something and can see a difference right away. As teachers, we can impart wisdom, confidence and power in our students. This is very rewarding. This doesn’t happen in too many professions.”
- “What keeps me coming back? It is when students walk across the stage at graduation. I saw the students’ faces close up. Their pride of accomplishment was gushing out which created a smile so big it would take up their face. Then I would hear the roar of the families as they yelled, screamed, and blew horns to show their pride in their son or daughter. Many of our graduates are the first in their families who have earned a degree from a college. Knowing that I had a little bit to do with this moment in their lives keeps me in the classroom.”
- “Teaching is my passion, my purpose and my promise. It is my passion because I really do enjoy coming to work each day. It is my purpose because I believe I do make a positive difference in the lives of my students and it is my promise to continue teaching, motivating and encouraging them.”
- “My reasons for teaching are mostly selfish. I get immeasurable joy from talking about ideas, and I feel worthwhile when others engage in topics that interest me. These are not, however, guilty pleasures. The more fun I’m having, the more my students are learning—no guilt there.”
- “I teach for that “aha” moment when a student suddenly becomes aware of the interconnectedness they have with the larger universe or just within her. I teach because I love to learn. There is always more to explore and to know even after years of immersing myself in the subject.”
- “My students have chosen a profession I have spent my entire working career (50 yrs) being passionate about. The extraordinary results are students are eager to learn and I learn right along with them. I teach because I can.”
- “I work in a health profession that has given me great joy. I love to be able to help patients get better and achieve their personal goals. To be able to train others to be able to achieve this same feeling of “making a difference in another person’s life” is very rewarding for me. Teaching allows me to have a greater impact on the health care of others by training the health care professionals of tomorrow.”
- “I teach because each day I hope that even one student learns something that will make his or her life better. Each time a current or former student tells me how he or she was impacted positively, it makes it all worthwhile. Nothing else can make my day as much as the kind words of a student thanking me for what I do. In hearing that I have helped them, I am always quick to add that it is students like them that make me love what I do.”
- “I started teaching out of necessity. I continue to do it, rather than some other profession, because it matters.”
Why do we keep doing this? Maybe the answer is as simple as we love what we do. Like the Hokey Pokey, maybe that’s what it’s all about.
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For years faculty railed against the textbook publishing cartel that raises prices as often as “revolutions” in education replace the old trends. Finally, others noticed the problem, and now the State requires certain procedures meant to help.* Those requirements do only so much. We can do more.
State requirements/College Procedure. As you already know, the College must post book titles, ISBNs, etc., at least 30 days before classes start. The intention is to give students the opportunity to shop around for competitive prices. Also, changes in or additions of texts must be noted in writing to departmental chairs, especially when the change results in increased cost to the student. The intention here is that professors take changes and additions seriously change in texts, for those changes often result in higher costs to students. Further, instructors must provide written assurances that all components of “bundled” packages will in fact be used. This requirement is to get professors to think twice before they accept bundled packages that increase students’ costs but may include items not needed for class. Take a look at our College Implementing Procedure for College Policy 4.01, which has been adapted to reflect these changes.
What you can do:
Consider an e-text. Most of the gargantuan publishers offer some books in e-text format. They cost much less than the paper texts. Some e-texts are only PDF versions of book; other are interactive and features exercises, self-tests, etc. For most of these, students purchase access to a website where they find the text. When the semester is over, they lose that access. The downside may be that students have no book to resell to the bookstore and, in the long runmay not save much.
Consider online sources. Many resources—from entire books to small modules—are available from an ever-growing list of websites. Project Gutenberg, for example, offers a trove of unabridged classics, while Orange Grove continuously adds items created by Florida faculty. You can simply supply students with the links, or you can post the items on Angel or the JICS class portal.See the list of online sources at the end.
Allow students to use previous editions. Changes from one edition to the next typically are negligible, except for the price. Older editions often go for tiny fractions of the new edition’s cost. For example, the 7th edition of Fisher’s Living Religions (Prentice Hall), which I used to assign for my Comparative Religions course, is listed on Amazon at $100 but offered for $81. Used copies start at $66. Used copies of the 6th edition, however, go for $20, and the fifth edition for $2! The differences are only minor. When you enter your textbook information for registration, simply enter “any edition.”
Create your own book. If you have extensive class notes, handouts, etc., or you create an anthology, you may have enough material to have printed and bound in book form by our Staff Services. The book can be sold in the book store for just a few dollars. One caveat: if you create an anthology of other people’s works, and those works are not in the public domain—that is, old—you have to give some attention to copyright. Fair use will probably be on your side, but you may need to pay some minor fees, perhaps with mini-grant funds, for permissions. The Copyright Clearance Center can help determine these things.
Place materials on ANGEL or the class portal. For my Ethics and Intro to Philosophy courses, I created online anthologies. Students simply go to the portal or Angel and click on the readings. Students in these classes thereby pay nary a dime for their Plato, Aristotle, and others. Many of the readings came from Project Gutenberg, all of which are in the public domain.
Put a copy of your text on reserve in the library. Students leave their IDs at the circulation desk and can borrow the book for a couple of hours. This is especially helpful for students who cannot purchase their books at the start of the semester, like those students who order their copies online.
Look for workshops/idea swapping sessions offered by the T/LI.
Sources for Open Textbooks
- Affordable Textbooks Campaign :
- Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources: http://cccoer.wordpress.com/
- Connexions: http://cnx.org/
- OER Commons Textbooks: http://www.oercommons.org/courses/material_types/textbooks
- Flat World Knowledge: http://www.flatworldknowledge.com (offers texts and printing services)
- Freeload Press: http://freeloadpress.com/ (offers texts and printing services)
- The Open Knowledge Foundation: http://www.okfn.org/wiki/opentextbooks/lists
- Textbook Revolution: http://www.textbookrevolution.org/index.php/Main_Page
- http://www.freetextbooks.eu/ - free textbooks (PDF download) in English, German, French, Dutch or Swedish
- Project Gutenberg - http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page
- Read Print - http://www.readprint.com/
- Bartleby - http://www.bartleby.com/
- Online books - http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/
- Electronic text center - http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/ebooks/
- Open Book Project - http://www.openbookproject.net/books/
*Faculty complaints reached puissant ears: the Florida State Legislature. Lawmaker troops rallied, action was taken, and the problem solved.
Not exactly. As is its wont, the Legislature ’s reaction has a dark side. It heard complaints, not from us but from students, which is certainly OK. The Legislature indeed took action intended to ease student burden, which is also good. However, that action implied that someone is to blame. Who is that someone? Well, us. While the State requires colleges and universities to publicize textbooks so that students can compare prices (which is indeed a major move, given that in the past faculty were discouraged from telling students to do just that), much of the blame is placed upon the use of bundled text packages, which surely account for only a small portion of textbooks. Besides, simply extract the main text from that bundle, and you shall probably still have an overpriced book.
Not mentioned above was the State’s suggestion that another major contributor to the rising costs is professors’ taking kickbacks from publishing reps for adoption of their texts. I suspect you agree that the suggestion is offensive. Besides, who knew we were missing out on all that jack?
Florida Community College Early Childhood Educators’ Network Conference
by Marybeth Kyle, Teacher Education
Held in St. Petersburg Sept. 22-25, several important topics were addressed, including the following:
- The Department of Licensing will be asking for more money to fund licensing responsibilities. DCF will ask for several rule changes that include changing the minimum age to work in an early learning center from age 16 to 18, requiring all staff employees to have a high school diploma, and beginning the staff ratio count for credentialing purposes with the first child instead of the 20th child.
- The department will ask for more authority to raise the Gold Seal Accreditation standards, which include narrowing the accrediting bodies, improve teacher qualifications, require 60 days to reapply for Gold Seal, which models NAEYC standards.
- The FCCECEN recommended that Licensing Standards address the following: minimum outdoor time (to combat obesity since Florida has an average of only 4 minutes of outdoor time per child), maximum class size (many centers will cram 75 children in a classroom thus affecting quality and safety), and require all staff to have 18 credit hours in ECE instead of 6 credit hours to satisfy a staff credential which is required by Head Start.
- ELIS (Early Learning Information System) will be up and running in December. This will give real time data about any childcare center, training, and payments. There will be a parent portal.
- Dr. Jennifer Parks will lead projects that have been funded at eight million dollars that include uniform child assessments to screen developmental delays, program effectiveness, and informing instruction. The Reenactment and Stimulus dollars will fund an environmental rating system (to be modified by UNC), a core group of trainers will be formed in the state, and the assessment will be mandatory but used differently by coalitions.
The state Birth to Five Standards will be reviewed. So far, 270 persons have been trained in the new Birth to Three Standards. The department will develop comprehensive standards for VPK
and Birth to Five. The standards can be seen at www.flbt5.com.
- Substitute instructors will require a level II background check. The coalitions will record and log the qualified subs.
- Under school readiness, parents may be seeking employment to receive childcare funding for children. There is a real concern for the new poor and the large waiting lists that coalitions have. The 20-hour employment rule has changed to 15 hours for parents to receive child care funds. Child Care Resource and Referrals is being revised.
- TEACH was re-funded. Some colleges depend on TEACH for 80% of their enrollment.
- Infant and toddler concepts need to be focused on as many texts omit this area.
All of the information received will be used to update the curriculum for the AS degree in Early Childhood Education. Students will be assigned activities that support the acquisition of the updated information.
Florida Health Information Management Association
by Suzanne Garrett, Business & Technology
I attended the FHIMA annual convention July 14–16 at the Onmi Orlando Resort at Champions Gate, Orlando, Florida. This is the meeting of my professional organization’s state component and consists of meeting topics relevant to the practice of health information. The Tuesday/Wednesday agenda s were arranged in subject tracks such as management, E-HIM, general HIM/knowledge and career development. Thursday was devoted to tracks related to coding and legal issues. I chose tracks that had relevance to the courses I teach and those areas that would be most meaningful to our health information technology students. I found particularly interesting those that concerned legal issues in handling medical information and those that had to do with electronic record issues. The recently passed stimulus package, otherwise known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which has a direct impact on the establishment of electronic record formats and on health information management was a popular topic for discussion.
One of our HIM adjuncts and two of our HIM students attended the meeting.
The opportunity to network, to meet new people and to reconnect with friends was a major benefit of this gathering. I am able to stay connected to the “real” world by questioning those in acute and alternate care settings, learning how problems, legislative initiatives, etc. are handled today. This information is invaluable to pass on in a classroom setting and goes beyond what is offered in most textbooks.
American Health Information Management Association’s Assembly on Education (AOE)
I also attended the educational component of my professional organization geared to the needs of health information management education in community college, baccalaureate, and post-graduate programs. This symposium was held in Las Vegas, Nevada at Planet Hollywood and I attended on July 27-28. The agenda was arranged in tracks covering best practices, international topics (representatives from several schools out of the country were present), and special interest topics. Topics were geared to the offering of curricula that maintained or exceeded accreditation requirements. Our programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Note: The CFCC Health Information Technology Program was accredited by CAHIIM in 2005. Some of the subject areas of sessions I attended included: distance learning best practices, legislative updates, a review of AHIMA’s educational resources, and ICD-10 reviews (The United States currently uses ICD-9-CM to assign numerical designations to diagnoses and procedures for data retrieval and reimbursement purposes, but will have to transition to the more comprehensive ICD-10-CM version by October, 2013.)
The opportunity to network with one’s peers to discuss common issues was invaluable.
Treasure Coast Nursing Research Symposium
by Barbara Anderson, Health & Human Services
This symposium on “Translating Research into practice: Implementing Evidence-Based Practice into Nursing” was held at Indian River State College in Ft. Pierce on May 15. During the one-day seminar, I was able to network with fellow nursing faculty also in the midst of the accreditation process—the CFCC nursing faculty is currently deep into preparation for a reaccreditation visit within the next two years. We are working on national nursing competencies, one of which is “Evidence-based Practice” (EBP), and are restructuring our curriculum to assist students in becoming more focused on using research data (evidence) in providing safe, effective nursing care for their patients. The symposium focused on preparing and
implementing models for EBP, and how to equip students with skills related to analyzing journal articles and research data for use within client scenarios. One hands-on activity that I found particularly useful involved audience participation, which was so helpful for our own mental alertness! Research experts assisted the audience in analyzing a selected journal article and its application to current nursing practice. It reminded us to assist students to analyze research data with a focus on the outcomes of research that can make a change for patients receiving “bedside nursing care.”
Florida Criminal Justice Educator’s Association
by Gregory Dawson, Public Service
The conference on May 11, 2009 in Tampa was attended by 18 criminal justice professionals in the education field. At this meeting we discussed the state curriculum frameworks for the Advanced Specialized Training Courses and suggested changes. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Department of Education. We discussed and agreed to changes in the curriculum Criminal Law, Discipline and Special Confinement Techniques, and all of the advanced traffic courses. We also discussed the new four degree programs that are being adopted by our community colleges and the formats being followed. The final item discussed was our next meeting at Gulf Coast College in Panama City.
2009 Meeting of the American Political Science Association
by John Anene, Citrus Political Science
It was historic! The American Political Science Association (APSA) for the first time in its 105 years history held its annual conference outside the United States. The 2009 APSA Meeting was in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The motto for the conference was “Politics in Motion: Change and Complexity in the Contemporary Era.” I reconnected and networked with fellow political scientists from the United States and from around the world. Some practiced their trade in the academia, some in government, some in international institutions and organizations, some in the civil society, and others in the business world. I attended various presentations, workshops, and plenary sessions on a number of issues on political and international relations. Both the opportunities for networking and the conference discussions undoubtedly enhanced my professionalism in the service of CFCC.
The 2009 Conference was also a professional milestone for me and my academic discipline in CFCC. I was presented a certificate “For Outstanding Teaching in Political Science” by The American Political Science Association and Pi Sigma Alpha (the National Political Science Honor Society). The occasion was at the Ceremony and Reception Honoring Teaching on September 4th, 2009 during the conference.
Professor Peter Katzenstein of Cornell University and the President of the American Political Science Association remarked during the ceremony that “Teaching is a touch of immortality.” His remarks reminded me of some excellent teachers I had during my student days and now as professional colleagues in CFCC. I am, therefore, encouraged to do my best to contribute to student learning in my academic discipline in particular and at CFCC in general.
Equine Acupuncture Conference
by Marsha Pidherney, Equine Studies
The Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine is located in nearby Reddick, FL. The large campus includes 2 modern high-tech classrooms, an herbal compounding pharmacy, 2 horse barns, a lunch room, product display area, and office suites. Over the past 10 years over 1,300 veterinarians representing USA, Canada, South America, Europe & Asia have graduated and become Certified Veterinary Acupuncturists and Herbal Medicine Practitioners. On October 22- 25th, 2009, I had the good fortune, thanks to a grant from the Department of Professional Development, to attend my third Equine Acupuncture Training Conference.
Topics covered were: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Principles: Five Elements, Yin-Yang, Eight Principles, Zang-fu Physiology and Pathology, Meridians and Channels.
1. Musculoskeletal conditions, lameness and neurological disorders.
2. Cardiovascular diseases and respiratory disorders.
3. Gastrointestinal disorders and behavioral problems.
4. Dermatological problems and immune-mediated diseases.
5. Renal & urinary disorders and reproductive disorders.
The new curriculum in Equine Studies is a program called Equine Exercise Physiology, in which the students learn and prepare for employment working in collaboration with local trainers and rehabilitation centers. This allows them to support the high-performance horse through training, maintenance and rehabilitation techniques. An understanding of acupuncture and acupressure techniques fits with the rehabilitation concept, so the knowledge learned at the Chi Institute is applicable immediately in our growing and expanding program.
Florida Writers 8th
by Kay Wilcox, Communications
I’ve attended several writers’ conferences in the past, most often the Suncoast Writer’s Conference sponsored by USF. However, these conferences have been discontinued for an indefinite time. Hoping for a conference as informative and fulfilling as those by USF, I chose to attend the FL Writers Conferences for the first time, in Lake Mary, FL, on October 23-25. I was disappointed in some aspects of the conference, but other aspects met my expectations.
One disappointment was inefficient use of time on the opening day that featured several 4-hour workshops. I attended a session, “Summarizing Your Novel” which was helpful in terms of specific suggestions regarding breaking down the parts of a long literary work. Unfortunately, the session essentially finished (with regard to presenting new information) within 15 minutes as the thorough handouts provided necessary recommendations, which did not require nor receive elaboration by the presenters.
Later sessions lasted a reasonable 1.25 hours. I particularly appreciated sessions covering such topics as point of view, plot and structure, three rules of writing, and characterization—all useful elements of fiction that I can relate to teaching ENC 1102.
The session I found most personally rewarding was the last session: “How to write a nonfiction book in 60 days or less.” As a result of this conference, I am now well writing a book on an idea I’ve been playing with for a few years, which is—of all things—a particular aspect of grammar. Think of the best seller Eats, Shoots, & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss. I’m keeping specifics a secret, however, so that I can be first!
P.S. For those of you who know me well, my first travel tips book will be next.
National Association of EMS Educators Conference
by Rod McGinnes, EMS
In August of 2009 I attended the above conference, held in Orlando. This conference attracts EMS Educators from across the country, as well as many of the most influential people in the ever-changing world of emergency medicine.
The main focus of this conference was upcoming changes in the way America’s emergency responders do business. These changes are the result of the federal response to Katrina, and they illustrate the power of embarrassment to change the world. Most of you are aware that in August of 2005, a very large storm called Katrina made a very large mess in Louisiana and Mississippi, and the government’s response to that mess was not universally applauded. What you may not know is that thousands of emergency medical services (EMS) responders eventually showed up to help from all over the country, and that when they did, the people in charge discovered a problem. The problem was that there are about 40 different “kinds” of EMS providers in the US, and each “kind” has a different combinations of capabilities and training.
When EMS was born in the early 70s the feds left it to the states to decide what “kinds” of providers there would be, and what these different kinds of providers would be allowed to do. A paramedic, for instance, is a “kind” of provider and paramedics are allowed to administer medications, insert advanced airway devices, etc. The people in charge of the federal response to hurricane Katrina made the decision after the incident that they would rather spend more of their time figuring out how to feed and clothe people, and less of it trying to figure out whether a Texas EMT-Intermediate could do the same thing as a Connecticut EMT-Cardiac Technician.
As a result of this incident the feds have decided that there will be only four different kinds of emergency responders in the US, and that an EMT from Florida will have the same abilities and training as an EMT from Oregon. While this is a simple concept, implementation is proving to be difficult. All 50 states must, for instance, change their laws in some way to make this happen. All 50 states have to agree on a standard test and worse still, thousands of EMS educators from over 600 programs must be coaxed into teaching the same curriculum. Much of the discussion at this conference dealt with these daunting issues.
The conference is broken onto sessions, some of them were riveting and others were …less than riveting. What follows below is a discussion about the more interesting sessions.
One session involved a rather clever use of a free program called DVDx, which allows you to pull small, educationally interesting clips from movies and convert them to a format that you can include in your PowerPoints. For instance, there is a very accurate depiction of what happens to the inside of someone’s chest when they have a sucking chest wound in the movie “Three Kings.” This program allows the instructor to extract that small bit of video and play it during a lecture on the topic.
Another session I attended dealt with using high fidelity computer simulation to teach students how to respond to emergencies. Dr. Philip Dickison, the presenter, discussed a study involving over 5000 students that evaluated the effectiveness of these tools in teaching students. The research showed that where these simulation experiences were integrated into the curriculum and supported with discussions between the students and experienced instructors, they showed a meaningful improvement in the student’s retention of the information. The research also showed that where educators stuck the simulation experience onto the side of the curriculum without integrating it or using it in instructor discussions with students, that these sophisticated and expensive programs made no meaningful difference in student retention.
In other sessions I learned that admission tests do not do a great job of predicting the success of health occupations students, that teaching students critical thinking skills is a better use of one’s time than making them memorize facts, that the more patient contacts a paramedic student has, the better her chances of being successful after she graduates, that counseling students is difficult for everyone, and lastly, that EMS instructors really, really do not like cell phones in the class room.
New Kid on the Block
By Sandy Scott, Prep Reading 2 Instructor
It has been an interesting and challenging semester. I am happy to report that I still get excited when myOutlook reminder pops up, whereupon I begin to morph into Ms. Scott the Prep Reading 2 instructor as I leave my desk to head for the classroom. I suspect I need to be a little more rigid with my students who are late arrivals, but am mostly glad they show up. Prep students are a bit different—the only reason some of them are in my class is that they just don’t want to make the effort to excel, even when it is quite apparent they have the skills to do so. That is what has been the most frustrating for me to deal with as an instructor thus far.
To date, I have only lost one student who had some international issues, and I have learned what to expect from my remaining students, such as who my “front row” people are—those who really do want to learn—and my “let me honor you with my presence” student, who makes it to just enough classes to complete most of her assignments but will miss a test because it is more important to celebrate her birthday a day early. That being said, I am enjoying establishing relationships with my students and don’t mind poking fun at myself in the interest of doing so. Something came up in class one day about the 60s and of course, one of my students assumed that I must have been a hippie.
“Did you go to Woodstock, Ms. Scott?”
“No, Courtney, I didn’t go to Woodstock, but there were some great groups there!”
“I’ll bet you smoked some of that good stuff back then, didn’t you?”
“No, and I didn’t eat any of the brownies either.”
Laugh—“Oh, you mean like space cake!” (Hmmm... another new term)
I considered this a great day—not all learning comes from a textbook. I show the Power Points, discuss the chapters of our textbook and review vocabulary, but highly value the interaction of my students, from questions about the course to what they did last weekend. That tells me I am connecting, that the students realize I value their input. There is a lot of social work involved in conducting a class, which is the reason why I got my B.A. in Human Services when my colleagues thought I should be majoring in English.
I have the support of Meribeth Fields, a great mentor, and TJ Jones, a colleague who shared her tests with me for the first few weeks while I settled in, and I am grateful for their help. Someday I hope to “pay it forward” and help another new instructor.
by Erica Ongco, Health Occupations
Five years ago, I sat in the front row of my class listening to my teacher while she discussed the cardiac conduction system. My teacher that day was in total disarray – in her thoughts, her visual aids and in her lecture in general. I walked away from that class feeling frustrated. The class ended with the same information I had when I came in – nothing more, nothing less. It was at that moment that I thought to myself how big a role the teacher plays in the learning process. There was as much importance on the need to present or teach in an organized, motivating and comprehensible manner as there was on knowledge and mastery on the material taught. My teacher had the information but had difficulty getting her message across to the students.
I have learned that teaching, undoubtedly, is a two way process and effective communication requires the involvement of both the teacher and student. It does not imply monopoly by one party, and is a give and take relationship where one learns from the other. Teaching is getting your point across to the learner without compromising any part of the information. It also entails guiding students to think in the right direction, as Nursing is very complex. It requires “standards” and yet, every clinical situation is different. Student nurses have to be trained to look at every situation individually but look at patients holistically. Guiding students to understand material in a way that they are able to relate to is essential in successful teaching.
I also believe that acquiring knowledge takes place in an environment conducive to learning. An environment that is favorable to learning is one where the students exercise the freedom to talk and discuss topics openly. This promotes a relaxed atmosphere where students feel at ease to express their thoughts and ideas. Some students fail to participate in class for fear of embarrassment arising from a wrong answer. With a less formal class setting, the learners are able to discuss subject areas freely and thus enable misconceptions or errors to be straightened out. When these errors are discussed in class, other students benefit from learning about it as well.
As I often tell my students, anxiety is contagious. If the instructor perceives a topic to be difficult and hard to teach, the students will feel the topic is hard to learn as well. Whenever I am in class, I try to keep stress levels low and emphasize the simplicity of the subject matter. I point out the basic information about the topic and build up on it later. Some students come to class prejudging how difficult it is to learn about, for example, a certain disease so it is important to start by calming their nerves. I infuse a lot of humor in my classes as humor relaxes and stimulates the mind. Humor, simplicity and enthusiasm in presenting topics make learning more fun and easy for students.
These principles have nurtured my passion for teaching. I always strive to follow these principles, although I have not always been successful. Every class is unique and I find that there are obstacles in each that I have yet to overcome, and because these challenges are constantly evolving, so will my beliefs be in teaching. Ultimately, teaching will entail constant learning for me to grow as an instructor.