The term is drawing to a close. As the learning guide in my courses, I can see that we are almost through the phases of the therapeutic nurse-client relationship (Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, 2002).
Moving into the term I decided that I would do what was pedagogically sound for student learning and not worry about being judged by others. I drew on various sources of professional development and adopted an inclusive approach to teaching. Student feedback, critical reflection on my practice, self-awareness, empathy, honesty, clarity, and transparency guided the design of course materials throughout the term. I feel that students have been empowered to achieve their diverse learning goals. It felt good to practice in a way that was congruent with my teaching philosophy. We embraced student-centred learning through creating a shame- and blame-free space for students to engage in the course material (Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, 2012). Now that we have developed a professional supportive relationship I am genuinely sad to see the term coming to an end.
The Termination Phase
A sense of loss is normal at the conclusion of a term when a therapeutic relationship is formed (Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, 2002). My students have shared their feelings of loss and asked me how I feel. I was honest and said that I have mixed feelings. Part of successfully terminating the relationship is allowing students and myself space to share feelings (Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, 2002). I am sad that I will not be their teacher again, but confident that they will be successful without me. The group I am teaching now has had a special influence on my career as an educator. We worked through a difficult semester together in year one and they taught me a lot about how to be a better teacher. This term, the level of engagement was extremely high. It is all because of them and their feedback that we nailed it (their words).
According to the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (2002), we should be celebrating our growth over the term, the goals that were accomplished, and plans for the future in this pase. There is a lot to celebrate. I truly feel like meaningful learning occurred in this term. Their grades were also very good and we had a lot of fun. The term is not quite over, but as our last class approaches, I am reflecting on the successes we can celebrate together.
Next term I meet a new group of students in a course that I have made some significant changes to. I get to create simulations and make meaningful changes in the way learning in that course is scaffolded. I have already met the new group of students and they will be a joy to work with. Moving into the next term, I am going to adapt some of my strategies based on what the students this term have taught me. For example, I will not have any 2% assignments due at the end of the term when several classes have heavier weighted assignments. As a faculty member, I may still have the opportunity to weigh in on issues that impact all students and will advocate for them where possible.
My students from this term, some of whom have grown to enjoy research (yay), get to move into the next phase of becoming a nurse. I am excited for them because I think they will really enjoy some of the content. As a student and teacher, I really enjoyed the empowerment and research classes they are taking next term. The students also have a new group of teachers who are committed to student success. One, in particular, has spent countless hours developing strategies to help students prepare for the NCLEX. I kind of wish I could audit that class so I can see just how she does it. Also, I truly believe in the students’ ability to be successful and creative. They were awesome to work with.
Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. (2002). Establishing therapeutic relationships. Retrieved from https://rnao.ca/bpg/guidelines/establishing-therapeutic-relationships
Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. (2012). Facilitating client-centred learning. Retrieved from https://rnao.ca/bpg/guidelines/facilitating-client-centred-learning