Category Archives: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Creative Lecturing

Lecturing Creatively

3260 Professional Practice Blog (Week 7): Brookfield, Chapter 6

In my line of work, lecturing is an important component of theory introduction. I can assign readings, have learners watch videos, enact demonstrations, and stimulate discussion, but ultimately I need to spend time describing content to my learners in the form of a lecture. This is not to say that a combination of the above cannot be combined with a good lecture. Stephen Brookfield (2015) writes that, “the challenge is to make our lectures as helpful, enlivening, and critically stimulating as possible” (p. 70): I want to add memorable to this list.

I recently taught a class for the first time on a topic that is critical to healthcare: Preventing Healthcare Associated Infections. I talked about the pathogens that can survive on hard surfaces in the dental office, and the importance of a proper sterile technique. Brookfield outlines the reasons for lecturing (2015) and unbeknownst to me at the time, I followed his directives:

– introduce material (aka: objective and goal of lecture)

– explain difficult or abstract concepts (pathogens are microscopic!)

– introduce alternative interpretations (acknowledge diverse learning styles)

– model intellectual attitudes and expectations (place value on the topic)

– encourage learners’ interest (keep them entertained!)

The entertainment portion of my lecture consisted of student volunteers blowing whistles every time I contaminated something (touched something that I wasn’t supposed to touch) in a mock operatory. I managed to stump the students once, and they also ‘blew the whistle’ on me numerous times. Brookfield argues that deconstructing what an instructor has previously communicated is key to understanding; I also hope my demonstration was memorable and engaging.

Brookfield states that “varying the communication styles and modalities you use in a lecture has long been argued as an essential component of good practice” (2015, p. 73). I agree. I came across this fantastic website on how to engage learners during PIDP 3250 (Instructional Strategies): Tecknologic – Learn. Try. Share. It is a fantastic resource with free downloads for many virtual games that can supplement a lecture. The latest download is a Power Point spinning wheel that can be customized. A vocabulary review is one suggestion, and it looks like fun! And, what a great way for learners to remember terminology! Brookfield’s final statement in Chapter 6 will encourage me to continue to incorporate a variety of elements into my future lectures, “Well-situated presentations can be crucial to students’ development as learners” (2015, p. 82).

References:

Brookfield, S. (2015). The Skillful Teacher (3rd ed.).  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

tecknologic. (2018, April 30). The Spinning Wheel 2018. technologic.wordpress.com. Retrieved from https://tekhnologic.wordpress.com/2018/04/30/the-spinning-wheel-2018/

 

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM Brookfield forgot to mention how much fun creative lecturing can be for the instructor 🙂

Value and Expectancy

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3260 Professional Practice Blog (Week 5): Understanding and Responding to Student’s Resistance to Learning

“As teachers we see clearly the value of learning and we all too easily assume students can see this too. The reason that certain understandings or skills are important is so obvious to us that we may feel they need minimal justification” (Brookfield, 2015, p. 234).

I am relieved that Stephen Brookfield expresses this sentiment. I have experienced firsthand similar frustration when I delegate a ‘duty’ to my learners, and they respond with apprehension: “I don’t feel comfortable performing that duty,” or “I don’t know what to do.” I take full responsibility in these circumstances: did I not place sufficient VALUE on the instruction of said duty? Is my learner EXPENTANCY unjustified?

I want to go slightly off topic and talk about my mentor and recently retired coworker, Marjorie Dunahoo. Marjie drove me crazy over the years trying to infuse me with all the knowledge, wisdom, and skills that she was driven to convey following decades of experience, and a work ethic that few possess. It was easy to dismiss her directives if I was uncomfortable with a task, OR, if I did not place value in her instruction. [Silly me]. ‘Reinventing the wheel’ is a waste of energy. I am not saying that discovering new and more efficient ways of doing the same thing is not important, but, there is a reason why ‘tried and true’ systems exist.

That said, “a common reason for resisting learning is misdiagnosing where students are in their command of skills and knowledge,” translates into: know your audience and do not ‘preach to the choir’ and do not “[push] them into a task before they feel they’ve been adequately prepared” (Brookfield, 2015, p. 224).

All I know is that some learners want to learn and others do not; you cannot convince people otherwise. Why someone would choose a vocation, or register in a course that they don’t care about is not my concern, and it’s a waste of my precious time trying to figure out how to engage these learners. I have experienced learners who refuse to write things down after I specifically tell them, “you need to write this down.”

I digress. Back to Marjie. Marjie cared, and as annoying as that was at times when she would tell me stuff that I already knew, she knew her stuff, and perhaps she recognized a discrepancy in me that warranted her harping.

So, I’m going to continue to harp, like Marjie did: unapologetically. After all, there’s a reason why Marjie was a dental assistant for over four decades; it’s because she was good at it. And, as annoying as her direction was at times, and as equally as recalcitrant as I was, I learned an immeasurable amount of valuable material from her, as much I (at times) resisted.

Resources:

Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher (3rded.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Wikipedia. (2018, February 14). Expectancy-value theory. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expectancy-value_theory

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM The above photo depicts an incredibly difficult X-ray to capture, and one in which, Marjie mastered (aka ‘nailed’). The face-shield, lead apron, and ‘thumbs up’ are directives for future discussion 😉

Sticks Out

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The heart-breaking loss of 16 individuals from the Humboldt Broncos hockey club reverberates far and wide. There are no adequate words to express the profound sadness associated with the accident. It is however, a good reminder for me not dwell on the day to day stuff that does not matter, and I’ve consciously spent the past week being more appreciative of my life and my privileged circumstances.

The outpouring of love and support for the community of Humboldt that I’ve witnessed is moving and inspiring. People want to do something to help and to connect; we are trying to feel better. On my way to work one day last week I saw hockey sticks outside of my neighbour’s homes, and when I arrived at work my boss had put his sticks out at the entrance to our office. The respect that this small gesture represents has created a solidarity that goes beyond words, and it is extremely comforting; I hope that it consoles those directly affected by the tragedy too.

Mindfulness

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Featured Image: Driving on a beautiful stretch of mountain highway on a clear blue sky day

I am trying to figure out exactly what it means to be mindful, while at the same time trying not to overthink it; I don’t want to be overly mindful, you know – live too much inside my own head where things can get distorted. The Oxford Dictionary defines mindfulness as,

 “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.”

To me, mindfulness means intentionally focusing on the task at hand and purposely/purposefully shutting out unnecessary distractions or judgements.

It’s important to be mindful when I’m performing tasks such as driving a car (really important), preparing a meal (important, but not life or death), or playing online solitaire (not that important, but it helps my personal stats to stay focused).

Being mindful helps me remember peoples’ names – I’m horrible at this and have had some embarrassing situations when I can’t remember the name of a patient or their family member that I met 5 minutes earlier. There are certain things that I want my students to be mindful of that will help them remember protocols; repetition will certainly be in their favour after they’ve set up an operatory for surgery multiple times. BUT, there are also certain things that I want my students to be particularly mindful of, such as the reason why it’s important to prevent healthcare associated infections by maintaining a strict chain of asepsis. I need to convey appropriate values on procedures and protocols. How do I teach mindfulness when I’m accountable to deliver a competency based education? How do I place value on importance? Certainly, attention is key. Educator, Dr. Jeremy Hunter, explains that knowledge and skill are important, but “as work orients towards information and knowledge, as the number of inputs and distractions increases, controlling our own attention becomes an essential skill to master” (2016). Please check out his full article on mindful.org

Thank you, Dr. Hunter! I’ve got some reading to do 🙂

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM I took the above photo (from the passenger seat) on the Coquihalla Highway enroute from Kelowna to Vancouver.

Momentum

Bridge

Featured Image: A photograph of a calm lake with mountains in the distance taken while crossing a bridge

Hello PIDP 3250!! This course on instructional strategies, outlines ways to facilitate the processes of adult learning, and I get to blog as a course assignment!! I want to begin by saying that I love my blog. My sisters and a couple of close friends are the probably the only people who read it, and that’s okay. It’s comparable to being anonymous, and that gives me the freedom to talk about whatever I want, and even contradict myself as I learn new things. Maybe someone out there on the Internet (likely one of my classmates at VCC) will ‘like’ something that I’ve posted or check out a link that I’ve recommended, but I need to warn you that because I’m completing an assignment, I will be blogging more than usual over the next few weeks (I’m in blog heaven).

As a recap, I created this blog in the first PIDP course (3100 Foundations of Adult Education). I am a Certified Dental Assistant and an aspiring Instructor.

Being in the sixth course of the PIDP has created an affecting momentum for me because I am almost finished my diploma! Blogging to me reflects my own thoughts and theories. Being given the opportunity to reflect on my profession and my research in adult education is moving me.

In my first blog post, I quote Albert Einstein. He states that “the ordinary human being does not live long enough to draw any substantial benefit from his own experience.” I’m sorry Professor Einstein, but I’m learning and I’m changing. As an example, I routinely recommend frozen peas in Ziploc® bags for post-surgical cold compresses because they conform well to the jaws. A patient recently told me that frozen corn kernels work better than frozen peas for ice therapy because the kernels stay cold longer, and will not melt or get mushy. In fact, corn kernels re-freeze quickly, AND, they remain pop-able after being frozen! I realize that frozen corn kernels do not compare with discovering the Theory of Relativity, but it feeds my perspective that there are things in my lifetime that I am still learning, and these things are affecting change in me. In another example, a classmate pointed out in our online forum that it is best practices to create blog posts that are accessible to learners with disabilities such as visual and hearing impairment, or cognitive challenges; I am now ensuring that my text is as clear as possible in my posts to accommodate assistive technologies like screen readers, and I’m including media captions to assist my audience as well. As I continue to navigate through the PIDP, I can see that gaining knowledge and building skills affects attitude and positive change, no matter what your profession, how small the changes seem, or the impact that the momentum has.

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM I took the above photograph on my cell phone from a car while crossing Okanagan Lake bridge. The focal point is the mountains and the lake in the background, but if you look closely, you will notice my movement in the side rails of the bridge.

Registered Nurses in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Wick Beach

After having been employed in an Oral Surgery specialty practice for many years, I have learned that while RN’s receive extensive knowledge and training in the medical field, a “warm and fuzzy” connection with the oral cavity is lacking. I decided to compile a crash course for nurses entering our practice so that they will feel confident while they learn the new dental anatomy and terminology language. I’m sure that I will continue to add to this document as new questions arise daily from our RN’s such as, “what does luxate mean?” I love working with these intelligent and dedicated members of the oral surgery team, and simply want to make them feel comfortable in their new discipline. I hope this helps 🙂

https://oralsurgery4rns.pressbooks.com

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 5.10.45 PM I took the above photo at Wickanninish Beach on Vancouver Island: a place that I love, but also one that makes me feel like a “fish out of water.”