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)

Flow

 

IMG_2753

Featured Image: Choppy waves and a lone surfer on a craggy beach

I am going to be in front a class tomorrow for the first time; I’m actually going to be teaching a lesson!! The mini lessons that I delivered in PIDP 3220 don’t count because they were mock lessons that I presented to my classmates and to our instructor: I learned a lot from that experience, like how NOT to deliver a lesson! That is, do not stand at the front of the class and recite boring information that ‘I’ think is important.

A recent PIDP 3250 class discussion topic has been on Flow in the classroom, whereas the instructor and/or the learner experience complete immersion and involvement in the task at hand and time seems irrelevant. One of my classmates introduced the following link from The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California Berkley:

8 Tips for Fostering Flow in the Classroom

And another classmate paraphrased the 8 tips (my intentions are in parenthesis). I will follow this advice tomorrow because the purpose is not how well I know my topic, it is how well I can convey it in an engaging way to my students.

  1. Challenge, but not too much (I can do that)
  2. Make material relevant (read my audience and do not ‘preach to the choir’)
  3. Encourage choice (allow learners to choose their activities: I’m not sure how this will work)
  4. Set clear goals (and give positive constructive feedback along the way)
  5. Build positive relationships (focus on learner-centred instruction, and be authentic)
  6. Foster deep connection (I’ll try not to interrupt the learning process if students are engaged in a discussion or activity)
  7. Offer hand-on exercises (got it)
  8. Make ’em laugh (either at me or with me: I will try to please!)

Wish me luck!!

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM I took the photo in this post at Wickininnish Beach BC. My daughter Rachel is gleefully shredding the gnar! If she can do it, so can I.

I’m Tired

IMG_6334

Featured Image: A tiny chihuahua engaged in blissful slumber

Sleep, you elusive and indulgent beast. I recently participated in a PIDP 3250 forum regarding the quality of sleep and our brain’s capacity for memory. Sleep ‘experts’ study the restorative effects of sleep on consolidating new memories into long-term memory: blah, blah, blah. I’m getting defensive about this because I’m sleep deprived, and it’s not by choice!! I usually don’t make generalized statements, but: I don’t think anyone chooses to not get enough sleep, especially the kind that the ‘experts’ say we need for ideal human functioning.

I’ve been researching how much sleep an adult requires, and there’s a lot of information available. Just Google© it and you’ll see what I mean. All the websites, blogs, and scholarly articles that I’ve read all agree that you need an average of 7 hours of sleep each night, and for an efficient rest, they all suggest reducing caffeine and sugar intake, reducing screen time before bed, and optimizing your sleep environment (comfort, darkness, temperature, etc.). But, none of the resources addressed OPPORTUNITY!!! Personally, the lack of opportunity to sleep is the number one cause of my sleep deprivation.

My instructor in 3250 talks about time management often because it’s a busy and demanding course. I need to work on time management for sleep (even 6 solid hours a night would be a great improvement).

I’m tired.

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM The above photograph is of my little dog in his frequent state of blissful slumber. He has the memory of an elephant! I’m so jealous.

Teaching Tips

IMG_5133

Featured Image: A beautiful waterfall in a rocky canyon flowing into a deep and calm pool

I can stare at a waterfall for hours, mesmerized yet attentive, and surrounded by the freshest air! A great instructor can be a metaphor for a waterfall: powerful and compelling, fluid, and contemporary.

The University of Waterloo Centre for Teaching Excellence is a fantastic resource for instructors, especially the Teaching Tips page.

I love that this resource is available online and available to use without a subscription. The fact that it’s free certainly does not reflect or diminish its quality.

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM I took the photograph at McRae Creek in Christina Lake British Columbia. I want to be like the waterfall 🙂