This Thursday, third-year students are using simulation to teach first-year students. We have spent time in class talking about the need to assess learning needs, plan teaching strategies, and evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching. My number one tip for students walking into the role of a teacher is to learn to be flexible and work with (or roll with) whatever is happening. Below is what I told them to plan for.


Last week you planned for the facilitated simulations with year one students. You defined goals, engaged key stakeholders, assessed resources, and determined a plan for evaluating your teaching.

Screenshot of a Google Slide – Click here for the slides.

Roll With It  

Preparation for teaching is important, but you can never anticipate everything that may happen, especially in a simulated scenario. It is equally important, in my mind, to learn to be able to shift your plan to meet your learner’s needs in the moment. I spend a lot of time planning my teaching and it has never, ever, gone 100% as I planned it. Sometimes I am genuinely surprised at how the learning unfolds. Before the simulation starts most of you will not have met your learners. It is therefore impossible for you to have planned the perfect learning experience for them.

Everybody just chill Bitmoji

Remember the Goal  

If you find yourself getting stressed take a deep breath and remember why you are running the simulation. Last week I emphasized the need to help learners feel safe. Your goal is to help the learner prepare for clinical by reducing their fear and increasing their confidence. Based on the literature available on simulation you have a very high chance of success (Hall & Tori, 2017; Khalaila, 2014; Reid-Searl, Happell, & Vieth, 2012).

#Goals Bitmoji

Teachers Need Support too!

Third year students are presumably novice educators. That is why Katherine, Francoise and I are in the room. We are there to support you, the teacher. Please signal one of us at any time if you need assistance of any kind. Remember that you are not being evaluated on your ability to teach. You are being evaluated on your reflection on the teaching activity. I think the best way to learn to be a better teacher is by teaching. If something could have gone better just be honest with yourself about it and learn something.

SOS Bitmoji

Happy teaching!


No Pressure Bitmoji


Hall, K., & Tori, K. (2017). Best practice recommendations for debriefing in simulation-based education for Australian undergraduate nursing students: An integrative review. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 13(1), 39–50.

Khalaila, R. (2014). Simulation in nursing education: An evaluation of students’ outcomes at their first clinical practice combined with simulations. Nurse Education Today, 34(2), 252–258.

Reid-Searl, K., Happell, B., & Vieth, L. (2012). High fidelity patient silicone simulation: A qualitative evaluation of nursing students’ experiences. Collegian, 19(2), 77–83.


Laura Killam is an experienced nursing educator from Northern Ontario with a keen interest in improving student learning through innovation. For more information please visit


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