Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Power of Authentic Tasks Part 2

Leah and her son, Drew, meeting Camden for the first time.  Camden loves his "Lala."
My friend Leah is a rockstar.

She is also the lab coordinator of nursing students at SPCC.  They are incredibly lucky to have her as a teacher of the nurses in training.  She is kind, funny, sensitive, caring, compassionate, talented, and a stickler for the rules.  I can think of no one I'd rather have as my nurse.  So I'd say she's the perfect one to be training people for this very important role.

A few weeks ago, Leah had an incredible idea that would allow her students to have some real live practice.  She drew up a plan and made it happen.   She borrowed my kids for a day and assigned them parts to play.

Camden was a typical two-year old, in for a well check.


Carson had fallen off his bike.

And Jonah had pnemonia.

The kids were perfect actors for the nursing students.  Camden just played his crazy, fun, inquisitive self.  The nurses enjoyed getting to know him.  Carson was a little too excited about getting into our stash of Halloween makeup to give himself some cuts and bruises.  He even had a real injury, thanks to the roller blading he's been into this summer.  Jonah managed a cough every now and then, to make his fake illness seem all the more real.

We received the most heartfelt thank you note from the nursing students.  The exercise meant more to them than any practice they could have gotten on mannequins or studying diagrams.  Some of the other instructors checked in on us and were thoroughly impressed by Nurse Prasse's setup and implementation.

Authentic tasks seem to be a lost art as the education world moves toward testing and multiple choice, but there is an important place for it, and it is invaluable in teaching lasting lessons.  Leah's authentic task will go down in history as an amazing teaching tool, that made a terrific impact on the nursing students that day.

I am inspired by Leah to create more authentic experiences in our own home.  The Date Night our boys created for us is a tradition we have started and I look forward to continuing it each month.  

Do you have other ideas for 
authentic tasks with your own little people?  
I'd love to hear about them!!!

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