Saturday, May 31, 2008

May Summary

Our question for May asked how clinical teachers (especially young teachers) strike the right balance between being considered overly accommodating (pushover) and being considered overly strict (task master).

Our faculty came through with six excellent suggestions. The advice from the faculty was to:

  • Set expectations or standards early in the process; this way students and residents will know how to prepare and won’t feel “ambushed”
  • Use the ASK-TELL-ASK approach to giving feedback, always starting with the learners’ perspective, using their concerns as a springboard for teaching
  • Model the behavior you expect from your learners

Two other comments reflected on the difficulties young clinical teachers face as they transition from resident or fellow to attending and develop their own teaching persona. Anecdotally, new faculty have described difficulties especially when joining the faculty at the institution in which they trained, citing evaluating past peers as the most difficult. I reviewed the literature and could find nothing helpful concerning this transition. Perhaps this is an open area for educational research!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Task Master or Pushover Dilemma

In trying to create a "safe" environment, teachers can over compensate and become so accepting that "anything" seems "ok". In these settings the learners can lose motivation to perform. It is really hard to find just the right balance between being a "task master" and being overly supportive.

Young teachers have often come to me with this dilemma. They in particular feel "singled out" by students and residents as being "too harsh" if they attempt to hold high standards.

Have you shared this experience?, or have some ideas to contribute? Join the discussion. We want to hear from you!