What does it take to be one of the best dental assisting educators? We all have memories of our favorite teachers growing up. Good educators not only help us figure out our career path, but they inspire us to reach for our dreams.
Dental assisting is a growing profession, and dental assisting educators play an important role in helping to prepare the next generation of dental assistants. Being an educator is a big job and a big responsibility. But, we’ve outlined a few of the traits that some of the best dental assisting teachers have!
Passion for the Profession
The best dental assisting educators are ones who truly love the profession. These are the educators who have years of experience working chairside and loved every minute of it. These types of passionate dental assistants typically spent time mentoring the other assistants in the office.
“I always loved showing the new assistants around the office and helping them sharpen their skills. That’s how I knew a career in dental assisting education was right for me.” —Brenda M.
Making Learning Fun
Although learning new dental assisting information is serious, the best educators know how to make it fun. Class flies by when it’s both informational and full of laughs. In fact, humor is a good way to help make concepts more memorable.
“You’ve got to make them laugh. You’ve got to do silly things occasionally, or you risk losing them. You want to make it fun so they don’t lose focus.” —Kimberly B., CDA
Being Emotionally Invested
In addition to loving the profession, the best dental assisting instructors love their students and want to see them succeed. They feel personally invested in making sure students understand each concept. And, they take the time to form an emotional bond.
“I am so glad when I see students return to school to find a valuable career. It brings me joy to see students go from having no background in the field and emerge as a valuable employee.” —Betty F.
Making It Personal
Dental assistants show patience, empathy and compassion when interacting with patients. Likewise, many dental assisting instructors use those skills to help their students inside and outside the classroom. That may require tutoring them outside normal classroom hours. It could also mean helping students in their personal lives.
“If a student struggles, you have to be willing to give of your time and figure out what’s holding them back. Do they have a learning disability? Is it something in their personal life? Sometimes you become a counselor, too.” —Janet T., CDA
What do you think are the characteristics that make for a successful dental assisting instructor?