Best Practices for Educators

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  This video by very successful diabetes educators provides many best practices that can be useful to other diabetes educators.

Best Practices for Educators Transcript

My name is Gerald Paschal. I'm the Business Operations Manager for One Corner At a Time Wellness Group. And this is my owner, Veronica Paschal. 

And what we do is provide jobs and education to families. We provide diabetes education and parenting classes as well. 

And like he said, I'm Veronica Paschal, Gerald's better half. Over the last two years, we've probably provided diabetes education to over 600 students, consumers, patients, including people with diabetes and people with prediabetes. 

The recruitment I think has been the key to our success. When we go out, we go out as a husband and wife team. And we interact like a husband and wife so we're able to rally up crowds. I mean, we'll do everything. We'll go and we'll barbecue. 

We'll go to an assisted living center, throw a grill up. People will come and ask us questions. And we're lively and we're funny. And so people kind of gravitate to that a little bit. And we have a good time recruiting. That's the best part of this project. 

Some of the best practices that we've learned is that first class, man. Setting the tone in that first class is so important. We go out of our way to create a family atmosphere. I mean, we're in this together. We got six visits together. Every one is crucial. We try to bring the spirit into the classroom. And we let them know, and we have stories to really reinforce our commitment to the class. 

It's important that they buy in to the fact that we care and it shows. And we keep them laughing. It has to be entertaining. They have to laugh. And sometimes, and I tell them this early, there's going to be times that we cry as you share stories from other classes. And we're always sharing stories from other classes. So we have fun. 

When a class is done, when we've completed a class, we are tired. 


We're tired. And I'm telling you, we put in the time to make each class fun so they'll come back. 

And we don't bombard them with paperwork. That's not the first thing we do. We get the class started. We get them excited about the class. Then we do the paperwork. 

So we're taking a chance because we haven't started the paperwork, but we found out when we started the paperwork, they kind of come in a little bit more defensive. And if we just start the class and show them our commitment to what we're doing, man, the paperwork's a piece of cake. 

And so we've changed it around. But you know what? I would only suggest that if your 15 minutes are good. If you're boring, and they know it that you're just doing it for paycheck, you know, it's just a job, you're going to have problems keeping your class. 

But if you're doing it for the right reasons, and the right reasons are we have to save people's lives. People are naive about this. And I can attest. People just don't know. And so if you take it as serious that you're saving lives in every class, it's easy to project that positiveness. 

Because this is real stuff. So we make it important that every class is a lifesaving class. And we have no time to waste. So that's how we get away from sometimes the questions. Because we're letting them know, we got 90 minutes. We've got to pop. We got a curriculum we've got to stick to. 

So we kind of make them buy into the emotion of the class. But if you have questions, we're going to be around afterwards. And Veronica will. 

You have to make yourself available because sometimes it's after the classroom they still have questions. And sometimes, it can't wait until the next week. That's why we make our number, even our cell numbers, available. Just call us if you have a question. And then we try to remember that question so we can address with the whole class. 

We try to stick to the curriculum as much as possible, but you have to really bring it down to their level. And you have some people who don't read or write. So you just have to be very careful with that. Some people won't fill out the paperwork because they can't. So you have to be conscious of that. 

And just know who you're teaching. You've got to know something about each ethnic background. And make sure you're gentle with what you say and when to use their first name, when to use their last name to show them the most respect as possible. 

And a lot of times, it's just the simple things that they just don't know. And as educators, don't take that stuff for granted. Don't think they know what an A1c is. They don't know what a fasting blood sugar is. They don't know what postprandial is. They don't know those terms. You have to keep it in layman's terms. 

So you can't teach them something and not do something. That's why I walk. I walk every day and I post it up on Facebook. So they see me walking. That's like, yeah, my diabetes educator walking. Because I want to be an example. I can't tell you to walk 30 minutes five days a week and I don't do it. To me, that would be hypocritical. So if you know it's something you're not going to do, don't encourage your patients to do it because they're going to call you on the carpet on it. 

You know, each module's important because you have that module and then we're gone for the rest of your life. So every module is important. You've got to come. You've got so make sure you're paying attention. Write notes. Ask questions. 

Because it could be that module that somebody needs to save their lives. And that is so true. 

So it's the little things. It's not the big things. It's not the big things. It's the little things that help people and encourage them to do what's good for their diabetes. So be on time. Respect that these are adults. We leave our class open from zero to 99. We accept kids. We don't care because kids needs to know. 

We encourage kids. 

We encourage husbands and wives to come. And then just oh, I don't know, just read about diabetes every day because you never know what kind of question you're going to get. If you're going to do this mission, it's going to be some rocky waters. But you've got to keep going. You've got to keep going. 
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