Some of us see the dark tunnel and some of us see the light at the other end. I was fortunate enough to be one of those who looks for the light. I take no personal credit for this. It is just the way I am. I learned very early in life that people deserve to be affirmed, and I find myself constantly looking for ways to help others see themselves in a positive light. They will benefit in so many ways and they will learn more when in a positive state of mind.
I bring a positive outlook to everything in life. The 2020-2021 pandemic helped us focus on the importance of the pause, the topic of my recent book. Pausing to slow down from our busy lives, our frantic pace, and our hurried instructions can reap tremendous rewards. Being “pausitive” helps remind us that:
- Learning is directly related to how enjoyable the enterprise is
- Teachers who are attentive to learners’ feelings are more effective than those who are not
- Patients whose health professionals are compassionate will have better outcomes as a result
- Profitable exchanges start with individuals, not issues
- The art of listening is one of the most powerful skills one can develop
- Asking the right questions can open the mind, as well as the heart
- Paying attention to the process, as well as the product, matters
Harvard Macy Institute
I have been privileged to serve on the faculty for the Harvard Macy Institute since 2010. The program that I assist with is the Program for Educators in the Health Professions. Each year around 150 scholars attend two week-long sessions in Boston, Massachusetts, where they participate in activities, projects, and seminars to enhance their teaching skills. The opportunity to participate with this group of faculty mentors has contributed very much to my professional growth. I have benefitted in many ways. Read more about the five ways…
The Harvard Macy Institute has a strong connection to my book, “Hitting Pause: 65 Lecture Breaks to Refresh and Reinforce Learning.” I had been more and more impressed that what is taught to K-12 teachers needed to be taught to university faculty members. I thought I would start with the simple idea of how to start and stop any learning session. Elementary education teachers are well acquainted with the concept of “set” and “closure.” I thought my first attempt at writing might be directed at this idea. I would call it “How to Stop Learning: And Start Again.” One publisher worked with me on this concept for 3 years and then decided that the idea didn’t really merit a book. Fortunately, my first session as a scholar in the Harvard Macy Institute Program for Educators in the Health Professions inspired me to keep working on the book. Dr. Elizabeth Armstrong, director of the program, reminded us that, according to the well-known educator, Lawrence Kolb, all good learning begins with an experience. Provided with a theoretical basis for the book allowed me to reconnect with John von Konning, editor at Stylus Publishing, LLC, the major publisher for faculty development works in this country, and Hitting Pause was off and running.