Merrolee and I spent a bit of time comparing cluster maps to see where the readers of our blogs were coming from and the interesting answer is everywhere. That wee interlude did wonders for the gaining the energy to write a quick post.
Here in NZ we are at that stage where our 3rd year students are in their last week of their final fieldwork placement and all being well in January they will be therapists!!!. Our 1st and 2nd year students have handed in all their assignments, and academic staff are knee deep in marking.
It is also an exciting time as we process all the applications of students for next year (our course starts February), it always amazes me the different types of people who are attracted to occupational therapy and the wide range of skills they bring with them into the programme, it guarantees a vibrant group of students.
We had some careers advisors visit earlier in the week and it was great to see their enthusiasum for our profession. One of them said that her father had received occupational therapy and ‘loved’ the occupational therapists for what they were able to do with and for him. Interestingly she saw that we must have an incredibly rewarding profession seeing the effect we can have on others lives. So that was one of the highlights of the week.
It is also a time of year when we reflect on what we have done well and what needs to improve and so there is a frantic round of changes happening to improve our teaching materials and assignments for next year. I sometimes wonder whether students realise just how much we use their feedback to help in this process. It is interesting the changes that the availability of information on the internet and within databases is making to how we learn, how we teach, and how up to date we have to be with our content. I remember back to when I trained 25 years ago dare I confess that I hardly went to the library we tended to just use the recommended texts (and it was probably 10 years old)! – mind there wasn’t a lot more on occupational therapy in the library. I remember a paper called Medicine and Surgery where all we did was go through a book of conditions rote learning them for an exam – I am not sure my knowledge on leprosy has ever come in useful but I guess there is still time!
In today’s world of the occupational therapy student there is however a tension – between wanting to be told the information/answer/solution and gaining the skills to get out and find and interpret the information for ourselves. We all know which one gives us better skills to be a life long learners, however time dictates a need to get a balance between the two.
Well that’s the top on mind stuff of the moment.