My role as a continuing educator is to facilitate learner development and well-being through a combination of learning activities, critical thinking skills, and experiential exercises, which helps the learner build on existing knowledge and integrate curriculum content with career and life experiences.
Students deserve a safe, respectful learning space, a passionate teacher, and appropriate massage therapy education, that stays within their scope of practice, and that is supported by peer-reviewed research. Providing a learning environment with structure, goals and objectives, assessment, evaluation and feedback to students can be challenging when there are such diverse groups of learners with different learning styles, and levels of prior education. Cultural and social backgrounds, special cognitive or physical needs also require multiple approaches.
It has been proven that each individual has a different way of learning, and their learning ability could be a lot faster if they are able to make use of their preferred learning style (Bhagat et. al, 2015).
According to Peyman, the four basic learning styles associated with V.A.R.K. learning style preferences are: Visual (looking at and making pictures, animations, graphs, tables, ); aural (listening to and participating in speeches, discussions, and question-answer sessions); read/write (reading and writing text associated with the textbook, class notes, laboratory reports, etc.) and kinesthetic (engaging in physical experiences, manipulating objects, laboratories (Peyman et al., 2014).
Learners build on existing knowledge by interpreting new information through personal feelings and prior experiences. Students employ a variety of learning styles and have diverse educational needs; they come to the learning space with a variety of perspectives, expectations, and motivations. Students who take an active role in learning acquire important skills and are open to continuous learning to improve their practice.
My classes include lecture with PowerPoint presentations, and technique demonstration followed by learner practice. Lectures are both auditorily informative, and interactive through question and answer, but also visually pleasing through PowerPoint presentations and my animated, storytelling from personal experience. Learners get visual, auditory and kinesthetic models of learning, and combining all three, to see it, feel it, and do it; followed by my formative and summative assessments. I love the new Kahoot App that allows for student review, competitive interaction, and subject retention.
The most useful strategies are those that help the learner integrate knowledge with experience. Teaching, in my opinion, is 50% knowledge and 50% presentation; both need to be spot on. Knowledge on a subject is critical, but so is the ability to think on your feet. Having two or three ways to explain the same idea, having good people skills, as well as the ability to read the room, and throw away the script, and speak directly to the group’s dynamic, is important.
One strategy I use to enhance learning, is analyzing real client intake forms, and experiences of my own. Using knowledge learned in lecture, I give learners space to apply knowledge and critical thinking and guide students in learning how to respond to changing situations. Constructive planned feedback helps students improve their practice.
The advantage of having an instructor, like myself, with a lot of career experience, is that they can interweave real-life experiences via stories within their structured curriculum, for a comprehensive, embodied learning experience. Massage Therapists don’t just rub bodies. An effective educator can integrate techniques and education along with customer service skills in the real world. Teaching the ability to effectively communicate is essential for the learner, whether the therapists is employed or an independent contractor. Reading non-verbal language to empathize with the emotional state of the client, and little things like music choice and room temperature are as important as taking an intake form, interviewing, assessing dysfunction, properly performing techniques, documenting findings and progress, and collaborating with other healthcare professionals.
Another strategy I use, when teaching an emotional challenging subject, is allowing time for reflective journaling, discussion, or meditation, to allow students time to explore and find personal meaning in the classroom experience.
When teaching a technically challenging subject, I think it’s important to be up to date with current research, but it is also helpful to follow the technique demonstration and practice, with supervised, real life practice and interaction. Whenever possible I have students learn from clients, families, communities and each other. When teaching infant massage, I have parent/baby volunteers; when teaching geriatric massage we invite seniors to class or do field observation at assisted living facilities; if learning kinesiology taping, sports massage or stretching I invite real athletes for my learners to practice on, and this also provides service to the community. In situations like medically fragile babies, where students might not be allowed into critical care units, I use a simulator doll, or invite parents who experienced the NICU into the learning space to tell their story.
Through feedback, reflection, and discussion, the student creates meaning and gains awareness of personal constructs influencing his or her perceptions. Students develop skills for lifelong learning, a key to successfully adapting to ever-changing technology, information, and clinical situations.
I have collaborated with psychologists, nurses, occupational therapists, and other CE providers to stay up-to-date and make my classes better. I have gone beyond just providing CE for massage therapists, and now offer workshops to other healthcare professionals, community health care workers, and the community.
I hope to impart the spirit of continuous improvement so that learners seek new knowledge and learning opportunities throughout their careers. I hope to contribute my knowledge, skills and attitudes to the continuing education of Licensed Massage Therapists who can practice effectively, whether on their own as an independent contractor or entrepreneur, or as an employee in diverse environments, such as offices, spas or hospitals with the skills necessary to work with others. I hope to reveal the learning opportunities that exist in everyday experience as massage therapists interact with other healthcare disciplines, and clientele who are the experts in their self-care. Most of all, I want to teach massage therapy by example; through respect, thoughtful reflection, and continuous refinement of my teaching practice.
Here I am with some students doing a mock labor technique in Perinatal Massage class.
TR Seminars is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education Approved Provider.
Welcome to TR Seminars. TR stands for my name Tammy Roecker, CEP (Continuing Education Provider).
NCBTMB Approved Provider #451668-11
Certified Educator of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (CETMB)!
I am an independent contractor who is passionate about massage therapy, and the therapists that love doing what they do.
Employers: I am available to teach large or small groups at your business, clinic, hospital, gym, hotel or spa location, to get your employees up to speed with their educational needs.
Therapists: Need CE but don't want to travel? Co-host a workshop and earn a free CE! Do you have, or know of, space that I could use? I will travel to you. Recruit at least 5 other LMTs that register for the event and your seat is free.
Need CE Now? I teach private CE classes on mutually convenient days, and try to build workshops around you if booked in advance.