Occupational therapy utilizes a holistic approach to care and emphasizes evidence-based, patient and family-centered, and culturally competent care. My teaching demonstrates these occupational therapy standards through a hands-on, collaborative, multimodal learning approach. Occupational therapy is a very hands-on career, and thus I believe that learning how to be an occupational therapist must also be through hands-on learning experiences.
Furthermore, multimodal learning facilitates learning amongst a diverse group of students and collaboration allows for individuals to work with one another while utilizing individual’s strengths. As an occupational therapist it is important to effectively communicate and collaborate with multiple professions to provide the best continuity to care and increase generalization to learned activities. I believe this approach facilitates strengths-based learning and the collaboration required for future interdisciplinary clinical work. My teaching reflects this multimodal approach through the use of in-person lectures, online lectures and discussion, standardized patient learning, group work, and laboratory and natural clinical experiences. It is through these approaches that I aim to encourage creative thinking, problem solving in clinical scenarios, and overall knowledge of pediatric therapeutic care. In order to facilitate clinical reasoning and judgment, students need the necessary knowledge of pediatric care. This knowledge is provided by specific readings, in-class lectures, and online lectures. Guest lectures are often utilized to provide the most well-rounded and specialized knowledge incorporating clinical examples. Additionally, open communication is utilized to allow time for student question and discussions regarding specific content areas to further develop clinical reasoning. Once knowledge is obtained, it must be practiced for generalizability into clinical care.
My goals as an instructor are to relate current practice, evidence, technology, and policy into each lecture as each of these components impact one another in overall patient and family-centered pediatric care. In order to accomplish these goals it is vital for me to create a learning environment where students feel comfortable contributing and asking questions as needed. In order to create this environment I aim to instill respect, open-mindedness, and an appreciation for diversity among students through personal example and by providing experiences to work with diverse populations.
These teaching strategies are valued by students, as evidenced by positive qualitative responses on feedback forms. Additionally, effectiveness is demonstrated by success on students’ assignments, quizzes, examinations, and standardized patient lab experiences. In my classroom I allow students to engage in open communication and discussion regarding feedback of teaching methods so that recommendations and resources can be provided upon student need. This approach encourages the respectful, open-minded learning environment that I aim for to improve comfort level of students in their learning environment.
Arguably the most important aspect of my teaching philosophy is to always believe in my students, to continue to facilitate their growth based on each student’s individual goals and ambitions. As Abraham Lincoln once stated, “I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.”
Photo of my curriculum vitae with my teaching experience.
Teaching Experience & Intersts
My current teaching experiences and interests include:
- Developmental Disabilities
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Pediatric Assessment
- Miller Function and Participation Scales
- Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Motor Development
- Peabody Developmental Motor Scales
- Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory
- The Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration (Beery VMI)
- Sensory Profile
- Pediatric Intervention
- Working with Families
- Sensory considerations
- Social skills
- Sexual health education
- Standardized Patient Labs
- Research Methods
- Evidence-based practice implementation
- NBCOT Preparation for Pediatrics
- Leadership development
Photo collage of the first slide of multiple teaching samples.
This micro-lesson on working with families was utilized in a pediatric occupational therapy course.
I believe that it is important to consistently monitor our teaching skills, learn from our students, and incorporate their feedback into future teaching experiences. Therefore, I request feedback from students after each course and use that to improve upon future courses.
Photo of the average ratings from students after a full semester teaching practicum.