#MCTeaching&LearningSince1924 is part of an ongoing series about how teaching and learning are taking place at Morton College during the pandemic. Responses are edited for clarity and length.
Nursing instructor Julianne Herrmann shares how she’s adapting to teaching online classes at Morton College. This is her ninth year teaching at Morton College and ninth overall in higher education.
With a summer to reflect, what you have learned about teaching online since the spring?
“Teaching online has certainly been a challenge,” Herrmann said. “I’ve learned to forgive the mistakes and not stress over perfection. I can say from definite experience that there WILL BE technical difficulties and that’s OK!”
What’s working better? How have you been able to reach students more effectively?
“Virtual office hours and on-the-fly meetings have been very valuable in communicating with students,” Herrmann said. “It has never been easier to touch base with, for example, a clinical group! I can send everyone a meeting link and within an hour, have them in a room to discuss vital information.”
Any student success stories you’d like to share?
“Yes! We had to be quite creative with clinical sites this semester!,” Herrmann explained. “Needless to say, the students who have been assigned screening site clinical have learned the importance of community nursing.
“They have experienced what it is like to have an entire community rely on their knowledge, expertise and guidance. It has certainly shown them what a beacon of the community nursing truly is. The maturity and growth I have seen in the past six weeks from these clinical groups has surpassed those of the past.
“There is no time to waste in an emergency or unexpected situation and they have learned to adapt quickly as issues have been arising (almost daily) with our current world situation.”
What’s been the biggest challenge? How have you overcome (or begun to overcome) this challenge?
“The biggest challenge has been the quick turnaround for EVERYTHING,” Herrmann said. “Work expectations have quadrupled, training has tripled and expectations from nursing has never been higher.
“The challenge has been not giving up or giving into the fear of the unknown. The challenge has been pushing yourself forward and to limits you never thought were possible in compressed time frames. The biggest support has come from each other!”
What have you learned about yourself, teaching or your students since Morton College went largely online in March?
“I’ve learned to see the true face of courage and strength,” Herrmann said. “I’ve learned that when the rest of the world runs from danger, nursing runs toward it.
“I have always been proud of the profession of nursing, but to see my social media feed flooded with former graduate fulfilling their promisesto the profession and see this current class jump through every hoop of fire without hesitation, it reiterates the professional path I have chosen… And I wouldn’t change a thing about it! We are #MCNursing!