Dr. Carpenter made a significant effort to accommodate all students this year in light of the pandemic. She truly cares for the students she instructs and puts health and wellbeing above all else. Dr. Carpenter's class is a welcoming environment whereby students will partake in self-directed learning regarding topics of personal interest.
Dr. Carpenter is extremely understanding. She really cares about each of her students and takes personal circumstances into consideration.
Mental Health is an overall sense of wellbeing. It requires balance, resilience, and reflection that are developed through life-long practice. It can certainly be fostered through inquiry and exhilaration about one's studies under optimal circumstances, however this also requires skills in stress and time management, the development of which can and should be an integral part of the University experience.
When this avenue for wellness is hindered by the stress of perceived failures, it can snowball for the learner and affect both their mental health and their ability to succeed in their studies. It is a priority for my teaching team to reach out and support learners that are behind, both to help them succeed in the course, but also to find ways to rediscover their grounding. This year, I piloted a mini Time and Stress Management curriculum, within my second-year core BHSc course. This allowed me to share strategies that I have learned over the course of my career, but more importantly, it allowed the learners to recognize the benefits of sharing struggles and successes with trusted peers as a way to develop their own strategies for thriving in their academic career.
The past year has allowed learners and instructors to emerge from what was a very disruptive 2 years. For some, the transition to the post-pandemic era has been more difficult that for others. Striving for empathy and compassion, while attempting to foster resilience and accountability is a tightrope that we must walk together. Our learners are the leaders of the future. Supporting them to find their grounding and resilience is just as important as the academic knowledge that we endeavour to share with them.
--- Dr. Jenn Carpenter