Indiana University School of Nursing, Center for Professional Development and Lifelong Learning

Interesting, fun, short, and thought-provoking posts you’ll actually want to read and share

Teachers Need to Know How to Teach

Yes, if even if you’re not new to teaching, you probably need some training. And that’s not a bad thing!

Recently we read a post from Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Titled, Benefits of Preparing Faculty to Teach Online go Beyond the Online Classroom written by Kathy Keairns, Director of Web-based Learning at the University of Denver.

The article said what we know to be true. Content expert, skilled practitioner, educated leader, does not necessarily a great teacher make. The same can be applied to multiple disciplines and professional arenas.

We’ve all experienced a great teacher. And we’ve all probably experienced a….not so great teacher. We’re unsure how accurate student evaluations of our teaching are as well. Even though they’re promised their evaluations of us are anonymous, there’s still a fear for some that their rankings of us and our teaching can be traced back to them affecting their grade, so they aren’t really honest. We could go on but you probably know all of the issues with faculty evaluation both from student, administrator, peer, and organizational perspectives. The question though is, “How do WE know if WE need to improve? “.

Elizabeth Green, in an article titled Building a Better Teacher for the New York Times Magazine on March 2, 2010, argues against a belief that

…good teaching must be purely instinctive, a kind of magic performed by born superstars.


This Hollywood version of teaching, as we all know, isn’t the reality. Unless you’re Robin Williams who plays teacher, John Keating in the movie, Dead Poets Society. Then you’re just born amazing and have inspiration pouring out of you like a fountain. Good movie. You should check it out if you haven’t seen it before.

Back in reality, the article that Elizabeth Green wrote focuses on elementary and high school teaching, the methodologies mentioned are certainly applicable to higher education.

Nursing faculty and administrators are starting to talk more about the need to train-the-teacher and some are calling it “debriefing”. We like it and have already scheduled full-day training will all of our faculty.

Noted in a number of articles we found was the mention of nurse faculty shortages and how that might spark interest in practicing nurses to move from practice into teaching. So, with possibly no formal training on how to teach, we hire and expect new faculty to succeed. Not very fair to the new faculty or, and maybe especially, not fair to our students.

Take a listen to, A Nobel Laureat’s Education Plea: Revolutionize Teaching by Eric Westervelt

Here are a couple more posts that talk about training teachers that you might find interesting:

She Didn’t Teach. We Had to Learn it Ourselves by Maryellen Weimer, PhD on the Faculty Focus blog.

Transitioning from Nursing Practice to a Teaching Role by Barbara K. Penn, PhD, RN, BC, Laurie Dodge Wilson, MSN, RN, GNP-BC, ANP-BC, and Robert Rosseter, MBA

We’d kick ourselves if we didn’t mention that we offer an online Teaching in Nursing Professional Certificate. Graduate-level courses that help to fully equip a nurse educator.

Courses in the certificate that can be taken individually:

Teaching in Nursing
Technology in Nursing Education: Finding and Using Relevant Tools (offered this Summer!)
Evaluation in Nursing 

Are you a hospital or clinic staff educator?

Check out Getting Started in Staff Education: a Key to Nursing Professional Development

If you’re a teacher, at any level, we hope you and the organization(s) you teach at are committed to preparing you; equipping you with good teaching tools to use, and supporting professional development. Each individual is ultimately responsible for their own professional development, so if your organization doesn’t offer this kind of training and support, we hope you look for and find some for yourself.

Have you participated in or know of some good faculty teaching training tools? Please share in the comments section!



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This entry was posted on April 8, 2016 by in Uncategorized.
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