The Monday morning after...


.... 5 weeks of diverse, interesting, challenging, and fast-paced {for this turtle} learning experiences provided by:

  • two enthusiastic dietetic interns
  • many engaging, inspiring, expert speakers at three different continuing education events
  • at least a dozen new-to-me online resources found intentionally and serendipitously

The R & R in my calendar is not for "rest and relaxation." No, it's for "re-read/re-write and reflect." So where do I begin to organize, process and share? I feel a bit like an empty mixing bowl into which ingredients have been dumped -- for more than one large-quantity recipe. I'd like to remove everything from the bowl, sift, measure and recombine. And let some things ferment for a while.

In the meantime, here's one item that's ready to share without any further processing:

Strategies to Help Preceptors Facilitate Learning

  • Reduce anxiety before introducing new information, skills.
  • Start in the middle if it feels right.
  • Focus on what is relevant and leave the rest out.
  • Before giving negative feedback, ask yourself, "What is the great lesson?" We learn more from forgiveness than from punishment.
  • Let the learner experience learning with as many senses as possible.
  • Ask the learner to repeat your explanation in his own words. This tells you what they have learned and how well you delivered the information.
  • Sometimes "no" must be used. It is as much a caring word as "yes!"
  • Create an environment where "There are no stupid questions."
  • Take a break when you are frustrated. No one is a teacher 24 hr/day.
  • Laugh together and enjoy the experience.
  • Don't be afraid to say "I don't know." Don't try to fake it.
  • Repetition helps consolidate learning.
  • Use questioning in a non-threatening way.
  • Role-playing is fun and an easy way to deal with sensitive issues.
  • Turn the question back to the learners if you think they should know.
  • Use as much positive reinforcement, as often as you can.
  • Be enthusiastic.
  • Recognize the learner's need to share
  • Maintain an environment of respect and acceptance.
Source: Vancouver Coastal Health, Preceptorship Workshop Handout

I was both nodding and shaking my head while typing this list. Oh yes, these are so important and true, and oh no, I could and should have used some of these strategies sooner and more often.

What about your own teaching/learning experiences? Feel free to share your "Pearls of Preceptorship" in the comments.