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International Participants of CCEDP – My NSCC experience

“Teaching  is a social relationship”  These were the words of one of the facilitators during the first day of the workshop; Facilitating adult Learning.  Those words will linger in my mind for the rest of my teaching career.  When I walked into that classroom of approximately seventy unfamiliar faces thoughts of trepidation rushed through my head, but  during the first day a warm, conducive learning atmosphere was created in the large group.  This was further replicated in our small working groups.  Firstly as a group we discussed and generated all the “ground rules” that would guide our engagement for the duration of the course.   In my mind this was the foundation for all the learning that transpired during the next two and a half weeks.    The micro teaching lessons using the BOPPPS strategy were taught on a variety of topics involving skill building, creating awareness about health issues, Sports, learning a foreign dialect, and even building construction.  As a leaner sitting through the various micro teaching lessons I realized more than ever the importance of having a powerful bridge-in activity.  In instances where the bridge–in exercise did not grab my attention I found it difficult to follow through to the twelfth minute.  I can only imagine what my learners are experiencing when I do not interest them from the beginning and they have to endure me for at least one hour.  From now on I will put extra effort in ensuring that there is always an effective bridge-in activity for each lesson taught.  I particularly enjoyed the peer evaluation and would strongly encourage all faculty members to engage in peer evaluations whenever the opportunity presents itself.   As faculty sometimes we think that we have taught brilliant lesson but did the students learn,  should be the most important question .  If the BOPPPS strategy is used one does not have to wonder whether learning has taken place, the purpose of the post assessment is to answer this question.   The feedback sessions  were very engaging and informative,  both participants  and facilitators were specific, constructive and objective in their comments.

 The biggest lesson learned through this all, is that no two groups of students or individuals are the same and I should modify my teaching styles according to the needs and personality of all my students.  Therefore, every teaching moment is a unique learning experience to remember and to put strategies in practice for the benefit of all.

The CATTS introduced in the course Assessing Adult learning were another “eye opener”  many strategies that we take for granted in the classroom are actually very powerful and informative assessment tool s that are not used properly and adequately.   I particularly like the muddiest point strategy, the minute paper, the pros and cons and the student generated test questions( Just a few).  These are some strategies that I will definitely put into practice.  For me Seminar day was just awesome.  The facilitators did an exceptional job, I particularly liked the session on “How to do less and get more.”   The learning tools such as the quizlet, Socrative and scanner pro will be put into practice in my classroom.

NSCC was not only about classroom activities, we found time to socialize and share our different cultures with each other, the music under the tent, the Bar-b-Q on Monday evenings, the beer pong games,  the long evening walks to the superstore, the shopping trips and the weekends in Halifax were all very welcome activities which provided opportunities for socialization.  I would not trade my NSCC experience for any other.

Merlisia Polius- John

TA Marryshow Community College

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