It’s summer time, and a good time to think of health and wellbeing. I heard of this concept from MaryEllen Weimer who writes in Faculty Focus when she wrote about taking care of our teaching vitality. She reminds us, “for too long we have assumed that by force of will we can make it through, semester after semester. Like someone out of shape climbing too fast, we gasp for air between semesters, over spring break, or that 2 week family vacation but it’s never enough.”

In our blog today, we’d like to challenge you to consider how you can nourish your educational wellness. What will you do for your educational self this year? What muscles can you stretch? What nourishing ideas can you take in?

Last week Theresa Suart featured several books that take medicine in different directions—novels, poetry…
(What’s on your summer reading list?)
It started me thinking of some other nourishing ideas for us all.

1. First is attending conferences. Many of you have attended or will attend conferences in your area of medical expertise. Don’t neglect conferences in education. Here are a few to think of:
a. CCME (Canadian Conference on Medical Education (CCME), Ottawa, April 26-30, 2014. http://www.mededconference.ca/ccme2013/
b. STLHE (Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education) (at Queen’s next!) http://www.queensu.ca/stlhe2014/stlhe2014 Kingston, June 17-20, 2014
c. ICRE (International Conference on Residency Education): http://www.royalcollege.ca/portal/page/portal/rc/events/icre Calgary, Sept. 26-28, 2013
d. The Ottawa Conference: Transforming Healthcare through Excellence in Assessment and Evaluation (not always in Ottawa but this coming year it is) April 25-29, 2014 http://www.ottawaconference.org/#!ottawa-2014/c16br

2. Other nourishment: great educational writers. Here’s what’s on my bookshelf for “dipping into”:
Bain, K. What the best college teachers do (great advice based on a huge study with lots of exemplars—very readable)
Kotter, J.P. Leading Change (anything by Kotter—a leader in the field of leading change—another definition of education?)
Holmboe, E.S. & Hawkins, R.E. Practical guide to the evaluation of clinical competence (Holmboe is intensely readable, intensely useful—and clinically oriented)
Marzano, R. et al. Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement (anything by Marzano et al is very useful!)
Angelo, T. & Cross, P. Classroom Assessment Techniques: A handbook for college teachers. (These two have a lot of practical ideas based on sound theory about assessment!)
Brookfield, Stephen & Preskill, Stephen. Discussion as a Way of Teaching (Brookfield has 2 new books out that I want to get my hands on: Teaching for Critical Thinking: Tools and Techniques to Help Students Question Their Assumptions (2011) and Powerful Techniques for Teaching Adults (2013))
Palmer, Parker. The courage to teach: exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life. (10th edition is now out. I think I have the third! One of the first teaching books I ever read)
Wiggins, G. and McTighe, J. The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units (“Backward Design” is a great concept you’ll find so intuitive!)

3. Stretch those educational muscles: Follow a Blog or list:
There are a few I follow:
Faculty Focus, edited by MaryEllen Weimer, published by Magna http://www.facultyfocus.com/ I’ve quoted from MaryEllen before—she has a real gift and reads prolifically
Tomorrow’s Professor (actually it’s a list) from Stanford: http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/tomprof/postings.php
Medical Education Blog by Deirdre Bonnycastle (U. Sask) Lots of great ideas! Last one I read had a list of songs that match to different medical disciplines http://words.usask.ca/medicaleducation/
Team Based Learning Collaborative http://www.teambasedlearning.org/ (drink the TBL cool-aid—it’s very refreshing!:)

4. Consistent high quality nourishment is a good idea for the whole year. Subscribe (Try RSS feed) to Journals
Here are the top ranked medical education journals and one education journal I never skip. Our Bracken Library subscribes to all and the librarians can show you how to get an RSS feed so you get alerts and topics only! (Someday I’ll write about some general education journals—fascinating reading!:)
o Academic Medicine
o Medical Teacher
o Medical Education
o Advances in Health Sciences Education
o Medical Education Online
o Teaching and Learning in Medicine
o Medical Science Educator
o Basic Science Educator
o Journal of the International Association of Medical Science Educators

Do you have advice for nourishing our educational wellbeing? Please let us know through posting to the blog.