When Chris Oldham started teaching health science courses at Bridgeland High School in Texas, he found himself in a very new situation.
Chris had taught health science before, so he was used to challenges like keeping students engaged and classroom management problems. But Bridgeland High School is unique.
“Probably 30% of my kids’ parents are health care providers - anesthesiologists, cardiologists - so the content has to be right. You have to know your stuff. You have to be on your game with the content because if you’re not, not only will the students sense it, but the parents will know. We’re held accountable to a pretty high standard by the parents.”
Specifically, this added pressure amplified three challenges for Chris as a health science teacher:
Chris is passionate about helping his students succeed, and he knew there was no compromising the quality of his teaching -- even if that meant spending extra hours planning and helping students.
While he was willing to do it, Chris wanted to alleviate the extra stress that was building up. Most importantly, he wished he could spend more time with his family.
That’s what led him to find HealthCenter21.
Now Chris is teaching up to date information, keeping students on track, and providing remediation -- all while spending more time at home.
Here’s how HealthCenter21 helps him accomplish all of his goals.
Like many health science instructors, Chris came to the world of teaching after being in the field. Specifically, he was a combat medic in the United States Army.
Having worked in such a specialized health care position is both an advantage and a challenge for him.
“My background is in emergency medicine. I’m really sharp with things that are in that kind of wheelhouse. But when a teacher comes from a specific background, it’s a challenge. You’ve got to know your content so that you stay out of trouble with the parents because they’re going to let you know about it if you are wrong.”
Luckily, HealthCenter21 helps to fill in the gaps of his teaching knowledge.
“One of the things that HealthCenter21 helped with is in the areas I’m not strong in. It’s been a really good supplement area to help me.”
On top of needing resources to supplement his expertise, Chris also needed to find a way to ensure his lessons were always up to date with the ever-changing health care industry.
That’s why he felt a digital curriculum like HealthCenter21 could be a great solution.
“You guys are kind of Johnny-on-the-Spot in updating the material and adding new features in HealthCenter21. In my experience in the last two years using it, I’m confident that I can come to it and find stuff that I need to be effective in a short amount of time.”
Now Chris can stop worrying about teaching unfamiliar topics, and he can be confident that the information he is teaching is accurate and current -- a big concern for the parents of his students.
Chris also struggled with student absences.
Whether they were sick or had an out of class placement, some students fell behind the rest of the class.
“I started having trouble when kids would miss a significant amount of class time. What I would struggle with is how to keep a kid on target while they are out. With HealthCenter21, I can specifically tailor work for those students. They could keep up with us so when they came back to class they wouldn’t miss a beat.”
Remediation and catching students up to speed were major sore spots for Chris. He had to spend extra time helping each student individually to ensure they were on track.
“It was very tough. I would basically have one-on-one time with students to go over their individual work. I’d have to say okay these folks missed this, and these folks missed that. But with HealthCenter21, they are doing quizzes or electronic notes, so I can really see what’s going on in real time.”
Also, because HealthCenter21 is digital, it has helped the students stay up with work. Students can use it anytime, anywhere as long as they have an internet connection.
“A benefit for a student is they have access to it anywhere they want to go. They can take it with them. Once they initially sign in, it has a lot of flexibility.”
This works perfectly for Chris because he doesn’t worry about students falling behind. Everyone can get their work done, even if they aren’t in class.
Perhaps the biggest challenge Chris faced was the amount of personal time he dedicated to planning and prep work. It was often a time crunch for him to pull together resources and find effective, accurate content.
On top of that, Chris is the only health science instructor at Bridgeland High School. That means he couldn’t share ideas or resources with anyone.
But because of the extra resources available in HealthCenter21, Chris has gotten more of his free time back.
“Without HealthCenter21, I would spend an extra three to four hours planning a week. Now I get to spend it with my family. I get to use it to monitor club activities my little kids are doing. It’s a game-changer for me.”
While using a digital curriculum may sound like it will take a lot of time to start, Chris says you can get started with HealthCenter21 in no time.
“One of the things that makes it effective as far as time is concerned is the learning curve on how to navigate the software is short. You can be a novice in technology and become pretty effective with this platform in a short period of time. To set up a class, it takes me less than 10 minutes. I can do it fast.”
With one simple solution, Chris has faced his biggest challenges head-on to spend more time with his family.
Are you spending too much time on planning, grading, and remediation?
You can follow in Chris’s footsteps and get your free time back while providing an amazing education to your students.
All you need to do is start your free trial!