Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Active Learning in an Accelerated EMT Course

No, I haven't died or abandoned my blog. I've been teaching an accelerated EMT class! Enough said. This was my first time teaching an accelerated EMT class and I'm talking Monday through Friday 8am to 3pm for 6 weeks straight. No, this wasn't an academy class, there was no selection process to choose the most prepared students. And yes it did take me two weeks to recover! Given the time constraints of the class, I chose to bite the bullet and employ a 100% active learning teaching strategy. I am completely convinced that I learned more than my students, but they will never believe me, because every single student who completed the course, if all goes as it should today, will pass the final test to become Maryland certified EMTs.

Sometimes EMS outsiders really do get us, such as a waitress at Dirty Harry's Restaurant and Bakery in Fenwick Island, Delaware, who introduced me to the new version of the "Eye Pad."
The past two months of my life have been a roller coaster ride of emotions as I fought to stay awake one more hour preparing another activity to help my students engage with the lessons for the next day; as I struggled to find ways to help my students who wanted lectures to understand why it was a complete waste of their time and mine; as I counseled students who were struggling in the class due to misguided study skills; and as I coordinated all of the usual duties of a primary instructor. But now that it's all said and done and I've recovered, Maryland has 17 new talented EMTs, and I can't wait to start my next class.

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