4 Reasons to Update Your Health Science Lesson Plans
Creating lesson plans for your health science courses takes a lot of work.
Once you’ve done that work, it’s easy to sit back and use them for the rest of your teaching career.
But sometimes you have to go back and update those lesson plans!
So how do you know when it’s time to revise your health science curriculum?
In this post, you’ll learn the four biggest reasons to update your health science lesson plans:
- Your course standards have changed
- You follow the National Health Science Standards
- You want to improve student understanding
- You’ve been teaching the same lessons year after year
You’ll also find a few tips to help you make those updates when necessary.
We’ll start off with the most straightforward reason for updating your lessons -- changes to your course standards!
Reason 1: Your Course Standards Have Changed
Many health science teachers have standards required by their state or school district that dictate what must be taught in their courses.
That means if your course standards change from one year to the next, you have no choice but to update your health science curriculum to align with the changes.
How do you know if your course standards have changed?
Start by asking your administrator for the most up-to-date version of your course standards.
You could also check in with other health science teachers in your district to see if they have any news of new standards that could impact your program.
If your colleagues and administrators have no indication of changes to your course standards, you’re in the clear this school year!
If your standards have changed, you’ll need to get your lessons updated!
How do you update your lesson plans when your standards have changed?
First, compare your new standards against the previous version.
When comparing the two versions, look out for important changes like:
- Structural changes to how the standards are organized
- Brand new standard objectives
- Standard objectives that were removed
After you’ve made a list of what’s changed in your course standards, it’s time to map out your curriculum!
Creating a curriculum map will help you pin down what’s covered in your lessons and whether there are any gaps you need to fill.
Then it’s time to adjust your lesson plans to include the missing topics and skills!
Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to teach your class with your updated lessons!
Reason 2: You Follow the National Health Science Standards
Did you use the National Health Science Standards (NHSS) as a guide when creating your lesson plans?
If so, you probably need to update your lessons!
In May 2019, the National Consortium for Health Science Education (NCHSE) announced the newest edition of the NHSS.
Overall, there were more than 30 changes to the standards. If you follow those standards to help prepare your students for the National Health Science Assessment, you have to update your lesson plans as soon as possible!
What should you do to meet the new National Health Science Standards in your lessons?
First, you need to learn about the changes made to the standards!
Once you have a handle on what’s changed, it’s time to review your lessons to see what needs to be updated.
In addition, it’s smart to reduce the amount of class time you spend teaching information technology topics because so many standards were removed from that section.
Reason 3: You Want to Improve Student Understanding
Have you ever looked back on a lesson and realized your students struggled to understand what you were teaching?
Maybe the detailed work of monitoring and analyzing EKG tracings threw your students for a loop.
Perhaps your lessons on medical insurance billing and coding just didn’t make the right impression.
If that’s happened to you, it’s time to update your lesson plans!
How do you change your lessons to improve student understanding?
Unlike the previous reasons for updating lessons, this one doesn’t involve changing what lessons you teach.
Instead, you need to update how you’re teaching those lessons!
Some common ways health science teachers update their lesson plans to improve understanding include:
- Adding more contextual information to your lesson
- Dedicating more class time to the tough topics
- Embracing the four phases of education
- Incorporating differentiated instruction
- Creating a blended learning environment
Depending on the topic you’re teaching or how your students learn best, one of those options may work better than others.
Ultimately, the important thing is to figure out which lessons you can improve and find ways to update them to better help your students learn!
Reason 4: You’ve Been Teaching the Same Lessons Year After Year
Even if your standards haven’t changed and your students seem to be learning just fine, there’s one last reason to update your lessons.
If you’ve taught the same health science lessons for the past few years, you are well overdue for some updating!
After all, the healthcare industry is constantly changing as new technologies and procedures come to the forefront.
If you don’t update your lessons to include those changes, you’ll be doing your students a disservice!
But how do you know what’s missing from your lessons?
One of the best ways to see if you’re teaching the most relevant information is by asking local healthcare employers.
The first people to notice if students are missing out on key concepts and skills are the people who will hire them!
It’s possible that medical assistants in your area are taking on extra duties outside of the typical role.
Or maybe your local providers have implemented a new EHR system and need their employees to understand how it works.
Whether there are two topics or twelve, hearing these details will help you take your health science lessons to the next level!
Update Your Health Science Lessons with Digital Curriculum
Updating your health science lesson plans isn’t easy.
Even if you know what needs to change, it takes a lot of time and effort to make those changes!
That’s why so many teachers have implemented a digital curriculum system to do the heavy lifting.
Hundreds of health science teachers across the US have chosen the HealthCenter21 digital curriculum system to help them plan lessons, teach material, and assess student progress.
HealthCenter21 is particularly useful to help teachers keep their lessons up to date. That’s because the system is updated automatically when standards or the healthcare industry changes!
Do you want to keep your lessons up to date without sacrificing your free time?
Click below to learn more about how HealthCenter21 can help you!