How to write a meaningful piece with a quick deadline.

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE I volunteered. I wanted to do it. But I was also overwhelmed by it. What was “it”? My dad passed away recently and I raised my hand when the pastor asked, “Who would like to give the eulogy?” I had only four days to write  the most important piece I had ever written.   It was important that I got it right. And I didn’t have much time.  Writing Strategies for that Time You Need to Get it Right (and be Fast About It) Sit and quietly reflect. Allow your thoughts to flow.  Begin listing or mindmapping your thoughts as they come. Brainstorming early gives your thoughts time to percolate. You will continue to add to this list as more ideas come to mind.  You will simply be recording ideas that you don’t want to lose. The sentences may be fragmented ideas. But refrain from editing this brainstormed list until you are ready to write.  Keep a note-taking device handy. The note-taking device can be in the form of a journal, index cards, or even voice notes. Using the notes app on your smartphone is easy because, well, who doesn’t have their phone adhered to their hip at all times? The idea is to be […]

Rocking Your MOJO by Dropping Pretenses and Simply Being You

By Kelly Beischel Phd, RN, CNE My heart hurts for the victims and families of the mass shooting in Orlando. In the wake of Saturday night’s shooting, I almost deleted the video I had already uploaded to post today. My video felt absurd, trivial next to the violence in Orlando. I decided not to delete it though. I expose my vulnerability to you in this video and am transparent about a few of my insecurities. I talk about loving ourselves and our bodies, aging and all. To stop hiding for fear of what others might think. And this is why I didn’t delete it. We must stop hiding our true selves behind a shield of pretense. And through love and acceptance, we need to encourage others to do the same. I cannot stop thinking about the lives that were snuffed out because they were no longer hiding who they were. But were not accepted. Accepting people for who they are and loving them for it – not despite it – is one of the greatest gifts you can give anyone being true to him/herself. And one of the best benefits of giving the gift of love and acceptance? The gift is reciprocal.   I know this to be true. How? Because […]

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 […]

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