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Student Tactics
Thursday, October 11, 2007
She approached me at the end of our Anatomy-Physiology class, asking for a project. When asked why, said she can't take the subject anymore for the fourth time. She said she have a feeling that she will again fail.

"Are you exerting some effort to pass the subject?", I asked, actually shocked that she's taking my subject for the third time. She said, "Yes, ma'am. I'm doing my best! But I have so many subjects I don't know which to give importance."

I scanned the class cards and found hers, only to find out that she incurred too many absences during the entire semester. I should have dropped her class card in the Academic Affairs office for her delinquency but I failed to do so. She thanked me for not doing it but insisted on the project. I told her then to study and try her best on the final exams so that maybe she won't be needing a project or a fourth round in the subject.

When I reached home I again looked at my record book and noted her performance. Oh my, she really have very low scores, no class participation, lots of missed quizzes, too many absences, and failing to submit assignments. I remember giving her a warning on the middle part of the semester but she took it for granted. What do I do with this kind of students? There are plenty of them in my nursing class. Expecting to pass without even doing something about it. They don't even prepare for their exams!

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posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 4:56 PM   0 comments
Problem on Discipline
Thursday, July 12, 2007
I started teaching in the medical school 7 years ago when my first son turned two.It started out as a trial then it turned out to be passion. I found happiness in it that I told myself this is gonna be for the rest of my life. My husband, being supportive in my decisions, allowed me to take more time in teaching as I slowly deviated my attention from my medical practice. I only allow myself 3 hours per day in my clinic.

It is my first time this year to teach in the Nursing course. It is a three-hour lecture on Saturday mornings and a four-hour laboratory period on Saturday afternoons. I used to believe that I would not have difficulty in handling my students just like how I do in the medical course. But I was proven wrong - the younger ones are harder to discipline.

My number 1 problem is punctuality. While growing up ,I was trained by my Dad to be punctual wherever I go. He was like a military man knocking at my door every morning just so I won't be late for school. There was no "Filipino time" in our house. That practice sunk into my system and up till now I see to it that I always arrive way ahead of time.

I know that I should be flexible with my students. That I shouldn't be too strict with them regarding punctuality. But I feel the need to discipline them.

Lecture time is 8 AM. I asked everyone to be present by 8:15. It was already 8:30 and there were only 10 people around. Only 10 out of 46! This is my second Saturday since school opening and I didn't want to rant. Patience, I told myself. I started with the lecture and my students were coming one by one like raindrops.

I didn't want to be disturbed. I continued with my lecture as if I didn't notice them. The classroom was full by 9 AM. The quiz result after the lecture that morning was low. Before we ended I again warned them to be punctual next time.

It was my fourth Saturday and nothing has changed. I was forced to lock the door by 8:30. All those who arrived after this time were marked absent. Of course they know that this is going to happen because I told them beforehand.

Yes, I pity them but I also need to be firm. This is the only way I know I can discipline this class. They are a group of repeaters, shifters, and transferee s. The majority are repeaters. Sometimes I am tempted to say that the reason why they fail from their subjects is because they lack self-discipline. But of course, I never say that.

I hope I'm not being harsh to my students. I only want the best from them - that is, to be able to learn and do their best out of the hard-earned money coming from their parents. Repeating a subject is loss of time and money. What if they repeat again next time?

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posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 7:25 AM   4 comments
What an Experience!
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Yesterday was my first day to teach Anatomy and Physiology in the College of Nursing. Although I've been teaching for nine years in the College of Medicine in LNU, I felt that yesterday was somewhat different. It was a day of firsts: it was our first meeting (Ana-Physio), my first time in the College of Nursing, my first time in a new school, first time to be exposed to nursing students, and my first time to teach for the whole day! It was 8:00AM to 5:00PM class and my gosh it was really tiring!

The day begun with me arriving an hour earlier. I wanted to talk to the Dean but I was informed that she might not come because it was Saturday. So I proceeded to the rooms in the third floor where the nursing students are. Not knowing that there are 2 sections for the same subject, I entered the first room. I have already introduced myself, finished collecting the class cards, and have already started with the lecture when somebody knocked on the door. Oh, it was the Dean in the College! She informed me that I was in the wrong room.

I hastily collected my things and said goodbye to the class. The students we're saddened when they realized that it was a nurse who will handle them. They said that they have wanted a doctor to teach the subject to them and that the reason why they failed was because their former teacher was not knowledgeable with the subject. It was then that I learned that the class which I will handle is a group repeaters, shifters, and transferee s.

When I reached my class, I did the same thing again. When I was already giving my lecture, the class was silent. They didn't want to participate with the discussion and bowed down their heads when asked. What a day to start. To think that most of them are repeaters!

I simplified my approach. I started with the basics of Anatomy just for me to know how deep their knowledge was. Still they cannot answer. What complicated the problem was that some students are taking only the lecture part, for some only the laboratory part, and only a few are taking both. I was shocked!

Anatomy- Physiology is one subject in Nursing and it is composed of the lecture and laboratory parts. What the students learn in the lecture part is applied in the laboratory (practical part). And this means that we cannot separate the two.

I talked again to the Dean. She firmly told me that that's the way it is in their school and that there's nothing I can do. I just wonder how these students will learn their basics with this kind of set-up.

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posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 1:52 PM   2 comments
About Me

Name: Amelyn R. Rafael,MD
Home: San Fabian, Pangasinan, Philippines
About Me: Family Physician, and Associate Professor (Clinical Anatomy and Medical Physiology)
See my complete profile
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