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Denise Nielsen

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Digital Teaching: A Community of Practice

I am delighted to participate in one of the formal Community of Practice groups established by the School of Contemporary Teaching and Learning (SCTL) at St. Lawrence College. Digital Teaching Practices is a particularly fitting topic this year, and I feel I can say without fear of contradiction, that we have all learned a great deal during the last 12 months in terms of teaching in an online world. Clearly online is here to stay; there was never any doubt […]

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Three weeks in January

Things have begun to quiet down now. The hundreds of emails are down to a trickle. Classes—synchronous and asynchronous—have taken on a cadence of their own. Read. Watch. Reflect. Discuss. Create. Repeat. The cadence of my days has shifted too. With the winter, the dark mornings, I no longer want to get up an go for an early run. I want to huddle in bed until 730. I noticed that I was often responding to emails all morning and then […]

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Skate

Working from home this morning began with an early walk in the snow. I went down to see the new ice rink by the clock tower. It was deserted and perfect and nothing beats an open air skating rink and I had somehow forgotten the magic of it. And OF COURSE I listened to Kathleen Edwards in my head. Because I also don’t have hockey skates. youtu.be/xcjOPLQx8Bc This is something I would never have done on a Thursday morning in […]

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Snap Decision

How are you? Simple question and how I start most classes. This week though…week 12…I unleashed a torrent. Stressed. Anxious. Scared. Really stressed. Behind. Tired. Exhausted. Too much to do. Did we mention STRESSED? It was a good conversation. Online classes are taking a toll. It feels like more work even if it really isn’t (I’ve reflected on this before and no doubt shall again). Deadlines and assignments seem hard to find. Online is harder. Without analyzing all this (another […]

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Not to be taken lightly

See what I’m reading this gloomy Sunday to know that this post is not an easy one… I lost the bubble in November, spent a good 10 days barely functioning before realizing I needed to take a deep breath and then coming out on the other side with a new appreciation for Burnout, what it is, and how it can hit you out of the blue. I’m not sure I’d have really known what to even look for if a […]

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Reflection on Leadership

Succinctly describe how you have grown as a leader duringthe program and how you will demonstrate your learning in your role moving forward.module 3, LDP In 2019-2020, I had an opportunity to participate in St. Lawrence College’s Leadership Development Program. Divided into three intensive modules over the course of the academic year, we covered Personal Leadership, Team Leadership, and Organizational Leadership. Our final task was in part to complete a succinct reflection–we were assigned this just as COVID broke and […]

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Only Connect

Anyone who knows me is aware of my love of EM Forster’s novels, the restrained and deliberate prose, the precision on his word choices, the delicate characterization that surprises the reader with its immense depth. Those friends of mine also know that one of my favourite quotes (the one my daughter painted for me in the Doctor Who language of Gallifrey…because in our house we appreciate the intersectionality of geek and literature) is Only Connect from Forster’s Howard’s End. “Only […]

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September

Back to school this week…except most of us are not back at all, but are working from home this semester. There are benefits to that: I can eat breakfast while checking email. Walk the dog when I need a break from the computer screen. Take advantage of flexible hours such as starting work at 6:30 am and then taking a mid morning break to go for a bike ride or practice yoga. I think on the whole it is healthier […]

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Important, Not Urgent: A State of Flow

This is a super clear framing, and while I often—especially this time of year—find myself in 1 (important and urgent), I know that my best work and most productive flow gets done when I’m in 2 (important but not urgent). Consciously putting out the intent to spend more time in Plan mode this year so that I can move my vision and goals for my teaching, my program, and my own PD along.

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