Author Archives: Kelly Beischel

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How to be an effective teacher in a world of teachers living in denial

Kelly P. Beischel PhD, RN, CNE I recently had breakfast with the associate dean of a local college who I’ll call Thea. We met to discuss faculty development opportunities and how faculty development changes student outcomes. You know me. I was giddy with excitement to talk about these passions of mine. As we talked, Thea pulled out her journal to take notes. And we discovered that she and I use the same planner/journal. I can only imagine what the waitress thought when we geeked out about best systems and strategies for using our planners and journals. For me? Heaven on earth! I love the systematic rhythm of using planners and journals. And then something AMAZING happened. Thea told me that her faculty expressed, during HER performance evaluation, that she needed to provide them with increased timely communication.  And what was her response to their feedback? She went about developing a system to do just that, to improve her communication in a timely manner. Hence, the planner and journal. Why is this amazing?  Her faculty were given voice. How many times have you been given the opportunity to provide feedback on your administrator’s performance?  Yep. That’s what I thought.  Very few times, right? But, Thea’s faculty were given voice, the chance to […]

How to Take Back Your Time and Gain More Freedom

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE I confess. For much of my earlier life, I was a people pleaser out of fear of disappointing others. (Unless of course you count my teenage years when challenging my parents was my full-time job.) Have you ever fallen trap to people pleasing to the point your time was not your own? Like me, have you ever said “yes” because you thought you ‘should’, because you wanted to please the person requesting your time, or because you felt trapped like you couldn’t say “no”? For most of us, the answer is probably “yes”. More times than we’d like to admit, right?  Unfortunately, there are grave consequences to being a people pleaser, of being a person who can’t say “No”. Here’re a few examples of those consequences.  Your energy supply can’t keep up with the demand, leaving you perpetually fatigued and overwhelmed. People ask what you like to do in your free time. You scoff and ask, “Free time? What’s that?” The Pareto Principle is turned on its head. And now 20% of what you care about consumes 80% of your time. You’re resentful toward the person who requested your time or the project itself. You track your colleagues’ workload, just sure that you are working harder. […]

Could your tests withstand a grade appeal?

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE A faculty member contacted me recently. She is facing the nightmare so many of us in academia fear. A student is appealing her final grade. Yikes! You may be surprised to hear that this student failed 3 of her 4 course tests. But, that is not what she is contesting. Rather, the student is appealing because “the tests in this faculty member’s course were unfair in comparison to other courses.”  “The tests were too hard.” And now the faculty member must defend her tests before the grade appeal panel. Seeking advice, this faculty member asked me about what she should prepare for her meeting with the grade appeal panel. This is what I told her: Bring copies of your syllabus to demonstrate how the policies of the course, including testing, are clearly laid out. Be prepared to defend the reliability and validity of the course tests. Bring copies of your course tests and all of the corresponding test analyses provided by the test analysis software. Bring copies of your test item blueprints. Be prepared to cite best evidence literature that indicates the tests were reliable and valid. Do you agree? If you were this faculty member, could you provide the grade appeal panel the evidence that indicates your tests are reliable and valid? Likewise, administrators, do […]

Why We Need to Address the WIIFM Question in Our Classroom

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE Have you seen the Broadway show Kinky Boots? There are many great lines in the show. But, one of my favorite lines reminds me of what I believe all college students ask themselves when they’re sitting in our classrooms. WIIFM? The shop owner is excitedly explaining his ideas about expanding his shoe shop to Kinky. And a bored Kinky asks the owner, “Are you going to get to the part about where it concerns me?” In other words, Kinky’s asking, “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM) meaning, “How is this relevant to what I want?  I’m curious. How often do we educators charge into our classrooms and similar to the shop owner splatter our students with content before answering the WIIFM question? I admit that I’ve done it. Typically, it’s because I’ve had “so much material to cover” that I’ve lost myself in trying to get to it. How do we know when students DO NOT perceive the material as being relevant to them? Eyes are glazing over. Cell phones are in use. Social media posts are rampant In other words, we have a classroom full of inattentive students.  How do we get into this spot? We have agendas, objectives, and a curriculum to satisfy. That’s naturally where our thoughts […]

Have You Ditched Your New Year’s Resolution?

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE Are you tired of hearing the hoopla about making a New Year’s resolution? I am. And I’m really tired of hearing skeptics scoff about how few people follow through. When recently I heard someone state that 46% of people don’t make it past 6 months, I thought, “Well, good for those who tried and made it that long!” Yet, I couldn’t help but wonder why 46% of people give up on their resolutions. Or why 30% of people give up on their resolutions in the first few weeks of the New Year. If you are one of the 30%, all is not lost.  Here are 3 reasons people ditch their New Year’s resolutions and simple strategies to get you back on track. The First Reason January beckons us to begin anew. To throw off bad habits and begin fresh. Wouldn’t you agree? We are so fizzled out after the holidays that by the end of December we’re willing to promise anything to anyone. And this is just what we do. Bad idea! Coming off of the holiday in a frazzled state coupled with depleted energy leads us to make resolutions from a place of lack. A place of scarcity.  You know, from those “I’m not enough.” “I don’t do enough.” “I don’t […]

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