Inventory

It’s been a while since I published a post, and it’s not because I’ve been overly busy. I had a lot of time off this summer, and I’m just trying to figure out my goals now that I’ve completed my teaching diploma. I can do a lot of things, and I know a lot of things, and I’ve surprised myself by taking a personal inventory and organizing my many attributes. Keep in mind, that I am not an expert at most of the items on this extensive list. Mostly, I need a pep talk because I am too hard on myself, and I waste too much energy focusing on negative insights. While this post is meant to be satirical, I think it’s important for people (especially woman, as much as I try to avoid genderization) to remember their strengths.

Self-deprecation is one of my best qualities; I am self-deprecating to a fault and often to my own detriment, and this is the point of my post. Performing a personal inventory also encourages me to be my best self for all the Stakeholders in my life: me, my family, my friends, my employers, my coworkers, my patients, my students, and the public at large. So, here is my list:

– I am a great mother (at least I aspire to be)

– I’m a dream wife (most of the time 😉)

– I am a good granddaughter, daughter, sister, cousin, and aunty (I hope)

– I am a good and loyal friend

– I am a dental assistant (I love what I do, and it pays the bills)

– I am a teacher (not a tester: I am saving this topic for a future blog post)

– I am adept at technology (yup, I’m a geek)

– I am an amateur zoo keeper: I am the caregiver of 1 Chihuahua, I cockatiel, and 2 geckos

– I can grow anything (although I’ve yet to cross-pollinate an avocado tree)

– I am a fantastic cook (I have a limited repertoire)

– I play guitar and ukulele (nothing fancy though)

– I can play the ukulele while hula-hooping!

– I’m a runner (it’s not a pretty sight, and neighbours have stopped me to see if I’m okay, or to make sure that I’m not being chased)

– I am a skier

– I am typically optimistic

– I am a lifelong learner

– I’m a blogger (at least I’m trying to be)

My father Paddy told me that ‘it’s okay to stand up and take recognition for my achievements, but it’s not okay to boast.’ He said this was while I was visiting him in palliative care for the last time, and I didn’t know what to think of his advice at the time. Am I too proud?

I’m beginning to understand what he was trying to tell me. I don’t intend this post to be boastful, especially at the expense of overly focusing on my own perceived strengths. I just need to be reminded that it is okay to feel good about myself, take stock of my achievements, and accept credit when necessary. It’s okay to draw attention to my efforts, successes, and failures (all learning moments) for all those at stake (myself included). I am realizing that self-deprecation, and expecting my Stakeholders to passively take notice of my strengths, is a behaviour that is, (and has been) detrimental to self-improvement and self-love. It starts with little things, like, when someone gives me a compliment, I should just say ‘thank you,’ and stop making excuses for my achievements or being embarrassed by the attention; this is hard for me. I am an introvert, and that’s okay, but I need not be a pushover. Thanks for the pep talk dad.

Dad

Exit PIDP

PIDP Books

I did it! I completed the Provincial Instructor Diploma at VCC!! What a fantastic learning and growth experience these past few years have been. I feel like I am ‘living the dream’ because I have a clinical position in an OMS practice, and I recently accepted a position as a substitute instructor in the Dental Assisting program at Okanagan College! To me, professional practice is about being authentic, relatable, and creating a legacy.

The final Capstone Project in the PIDP asked me to reflect on my instructional goals, and encouraged me to remain a reflective practitioner (there is A LOT of reflecting in this program). Reflection can be done in many ways, and this post paraphrases my final project. Have I addressed the diverse learning styles of my students? Have I applied the principles of Bloom’s Taxonomy to encourage higher forms of critical thinking? Are some learners better at retaining theory (cognitive)? Do others prefer a hands-on approach to learning (psychomotor), or do they learn best by how a lesson makes them feel (affective)? I believe that a combination of all three learning domains is the key to active learning.

My greatest ‘aha’ in the PIDP moment was the realization that it does not matter how well I know my subject, although this is extremely important. I discovered that what matters most is how well I can convey my knowledge, skills, and attitudes to my learners.

Learning how adults learn is key. Initially, I thought I was a behaviourist because dentistry is a vocation that requires strict knowledge and skills: pedagogy; an ‘I teach, you learn’ approach. However, the assigned readings introduced me to Carl Rogers’, Freedom to Learn (1969), and Malcolm Knowles’, The Adult Learner (1973 & 2015), and to the humanistic learning theory which focuses on a student-centred approach to learning: andragogy. I discovered that I can do this! I HAVE been doing this throughout my career as a dental assistant, and now I can articulate and improve upon how to teach adults:

– Value: Do learners know WHY something is important?
– Information: Have learners been given all the tools that they will need to learn?
– Relatability: What knowledge or understanding do students already possess?
– Readiness: What will motivate students to learn?
– Reflection: Have students been given the opportunity to critically reflect and act on what they are learning?

I elected to take the PIDP to become an educator, and it has exceeded my expectationsand I can see the value in what I have learned because I feel more confident as an instructor. Thank you, Provincial Instructor Diploma Program. Thank you, Vancouver Community College. Thank you, Jenny Leong (Program Assistant), and thank you to my instructors, Glenn Galy, Jacquie Harris, Bob Aitken, Jeff May, Brian Cassell, Alison Dewhurst, and Karen Brooke 🙂


Bloom’s Taxonomy Link:

Clark, D. (2015, January 12). Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Domains. Big Dog’s & Little Dog’s Performance Juxtaposition. Retrieved from http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html

References:
Knowles, M. S. (1973). The Adult Learner. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Knowles, M. S., Holton lll, E. F., Swanson, R. A. (2015). The Adult Learner: The Definitive Classic in Adult Education and Human Resource Development (8thed.). New York: Routledge.

Rogers, C. (1969). Freedom to Learn. Columbus: Charles E. Merrill.

I❤️🇨🇦

IMG_0169

To say that I love Canada is an understatement; I am so grateful and proud to be Canadian! I am spending this Canada Day outside as much as possible. I have fresh air, clean water, a comfy chair, and a clammy in hand.

As Canadians, we have a reputation for being friendly and polite, even amidst the adversity of our (at times) over-bearing neighbour to the south. Our Prime Minister has our backs though. I like that I can do my part in the Canada/US trade war by boycotting Heinz® ketchup, and I am sure that I can find an adequate ketchup that’s made in Canada. But, I’m worried that the ketchup boycott is the tip of the iceberg. As much as I love Canada, I also love the US. I don’t visit there often, but I enjoy their sports, movies, music, and technology (I’m a huge Apple Inc.® fan).

How far will this trade war and the tactics used by both sides continue? I’m okay with no ketchup, but what if we are asked to boycott Clamato® juice? I don’t think that there’s a substitute for the delicious drink that Canadians love to mix with our beer. I’d still be enjoying Canada Day, but with no clammy. What will my limit be? Cheers eh?!

 

My Butterfly Effect🦋

Butterfly

3260 Professional Practice Blog (Week 8): Professional Development Plan

Now that I am almost finished the PIDP, this week’s blog assignment is to reflect on, and share my future plans as a dental assistant, and an aspiring educator. I plan on continuing to be a lifelong learner. I am not an over-achiever; I am just innately and insatiably curious.

As a CDA, my licensing body, the College of Dental Surgeons of BC, mandates profession-based continuing education, and continuous practice. I am happy about his because it means that I can continue to work as a surgical assistant AND pursue a position as a college instructor. Continuing education for a dental assistant is typically offered by local dental associations. Every October, Kelowna hosts the Thompson-Okanagan Dental Society meeting. The four-day event facilitates a trade show with all the latest technologies in dentistry, offers hands-on clinics, and lectures on an endless variety of topics that pertain to dentistry and healthcare. In addition, my Health Care Provider CPR re-certification is required annually, which gives me another opportunity for continuing education. And, I am fortunate that my employers sponsor my attendance in both instances.

Continuing education as an educator will require more autonomous research. I want to continue pursuing higher education. I am enjoying the PIDP, and I want to keep learning. My goal would be to complete a master’s degree. I put my education on hold while I raised my children; now it’s ‘my time’ and I feel the ‘sky is the limit’. I am considering several avenues, and I need some serious advising, because education is time-consuming and it can be expensive. Do I continue at Vancouver Community College and enrol in the Certificate in Online/eLearning Instruction? Do I consider applying for the Business Studies Certificate for Healthcare Professionals at Okanagan College? OR, do I apply to my dream program at Royal Roads University in Victoria, for the Graduate Diploma in Learning and Technology? Do I enrol in a free Edx course on Health Professional Teaching Skills at the University of Toronto? AND, I want to design an online course some day: Edx offers a free course on Creating a Course with Edx Studio.

I really appreciate this assignment because it has organized my goals, and the PIDP has certainly inspired me to continue my scholarly pursuits, while continuing to practice as a dental assistant. One of the questions in this week’s required blog post is: where will I be in 5 years? I can only say that I hope I’ll still be practicing as a dental assistant in some capacity, and I know that I will still be learning. I call this my butterfly effect: The idea that a small change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM I took the above photo this May in Christina Lake, BC. The fauna is a Western Tiger Swallowtail butterfly, and the flora is Washington Hawthorn flower.

🎬Me & My Survey Monkey® (Round Two)

Alas, YouTube© has blocked my video. But that’s okay because Vimeo™+© is now supporting my school project. I have the utmost respect for an artist’s work, and would never use content without attribution or for commercial use. I didn’t want to remove the Beatles’ song because it works well with my film (and I love the song). The video isn’t even that great, but the hype surrounding it has become interesting and controversial!

🎬Me & My Survey Monkey®

Making an instructional video is challenging and time consuming. It is also a lot of fun! However, the content of the film almost becomes secondary to its production. The video is part of a digital assignment in the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program at Vancouver Community College. The criteria was to highlight a strategy used to solicit student feedback on the instructional process. I chose to feature online instructor feedback forms with the help of Survey Monkey. I made the video using  QuickTime® on my 2011 MacBook Air® and iMovie®. I uploaded the video to YouTube©. I guess EMI® isn’t happy with me using a Beatles’ song because YouTube instantly sent me a warning and threatened to block my video! I am disputing YouTube’s decision under the ‘fair dealing exception’ in the Copyright Act because my video is for educational purposes only. I hope my dispute holds, and I hope you enjoy my amateur production. Please keep in mind that I’m a dental assistant and a fledgling educator, and not a film maker.

Wait for it . . .

I’ve learned a lot about making a movie since my last post, and have probably spent way too much time playing around with software, but I’m in my happy place because I’m very comfortable around technology. I wish my movies reflected my drive. None-the-less, my ‘soon to be released’ instructional video has its own trailer! I know what you’re thinking: I should be working on actual course work. I can justify this diversion because I am still learning. I just hope my forthcoming video lives up to all the ‘hype’. Enjoy the preview 🙂

 

🎵 A special thank to the late and great Chuck Berry for his contribution to the world (and my movie trailer)