Adult Education, Education, Uncategorized

Classroom Assessment: Unlocking the Door to Learning

If you are a teacher, you probably have experienced the following. You have taught a course, felt good about it, and then had students not do so well on the exam.

A good teacher (which I think we all strive to be), asks themselves how that happened. You probably also recognize that it is now too late to go back and change anything.

Simply saying that you taught it and they didn’t bother to learn it is a cop out.

So, how do we assess our students learning, and involve them in it, prior to an evaluation?

I’m going to talk about a few very helpful, easy to implement strategies to do this, and why this is vital for you as an educator.

An effective classroom assessment technique should:

  • assist in your students’ learning
  • aid you in determining the needs of your students
  • give you important feedback
  • help you to meet the course goals you have laid out
  • involve the student in assessing their own learning

These assessment techniques are not for marks, so my suggestion is to keep them simple in the beginning. Ease your students into participating by maintaining this simplicity and reinforce to them that this is to help you help them (and help themselves).

This type of activity should not be used as a replacement for your formal, summative evaluations. Remember, it is too late once the exam has already happened. Keep your activity formative; for learning, not of learning.

In Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers (Angelo & Cross) three easy steps to get you started are noted as:

  1. Plan
  2. Implement
  3. Respond


In the world of education planning is key to so much of what we do, so makes sense that this would be the first step in our journey. Choose the class and day that you are going to try your first activity. Plan out enough time to do the activity, and how you will explain it to your group. Creating a hand out or writing the instructions up on the board will be helpful and keep everyone on track.

I have two all-time favorite techniques that I encourage newbies to this to use. The Minute Paper and The Muddiest Point. Easy to administer, and not a huge time consumer for the teacher, both pack an insightful punch. The premise is the same for each, just the questions differ. In The Minute Paper you would ask two basic questions: What was the most important thing you learned today? and What questions remain in your mind as we conclude today’s lesson? In The Muddiest Point you would ask one question: What is the muddiest point in my lecture/demonstration today?


Once you have a plan created it is then time to implement. It is suggested again and again in the adult education world that you do this type of assessment anonymously. It often elicits a more honest answer from the student, eliminating concerns that they may be judged in some way for not understanding something.

Again, explain to them that you are doing this not only to assess where they are at, but so you can tailor your lessons to their needs, giving them a voice in course content and delivery. It will help them to also better understand where they are at themselves.

Give the group the assessment parameters (hand out, written instructions, etc.) and allow time for them to complete it. Once completed and handed in, take the time to read through the responses and start analyzing the information collected. By using a simple technique to start, you will find it easier to assess the data you are being given. I like to make myself brief notes as I read through the responses. Once I have gone through all of them I can use those notes to help me prepare for the next step, the response.


Now that you have the information that you were looking for you need to use it in a way that involves the student. Share it with them. Let them know that today’s lesson is going to focus on topic A and review topic B because yesterday’s assessment technique showed that was where a gap exists. By doing so, the student will see the value in participating because the information they shared is being put to good use.

I highly recommend getting a copy of the book I mentioned earlier, Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers by Thomas A. Angelo and K. Patricia Cross.  I referenced it many times in this post because I have found it to be very helpful. It is full of assessment technique ideas, both simple and more complex.

I wish you success in implementing any and all techniques in your classroom. Just remember, even if the technique you chose doesn’t go as well as planned, you still learned something from the experience. Every class has a different dynamic, and as you become more adept at using assessment techniques you will find you are better able to understand what activity works for what group.

Do you have an assessment technique that you like to use? Share your story with us in the comments section.

Until next time,





Angelo, T. A., Cross K. P. Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1993.


beauty, Education, Skin Care, Uncategorized

Endor Technologies Eye Contour

I am a skin care junky. Yes, I said it.

When I started using eye cream at the tender age of 16 people thought I was crazy. Believe me, there was many an expert that told me I was wasting my money and just did not need an eye cream. That kind of advice followed me well into my 20’s.

But it never made any sense to me. Prevention just felt like the better option, especially when it came to caring for my eyes. I disregarded the opinion of all of those people and have used eye creams and/or serums ever since.

Fast forward to today. I am a woman who is venturing on to another decade very soon, and it is safe to say that in the 2+ decades since I was 16 I have used A LOT of eye cream. I also have come to understand why people feel that eye cream may just be a marketing ploy to get you to purchase more products, because in all of those eye creams I have tried over the years there has only been three that I found did anything for me.

One of those products is the Eye Contour cream from Endor Technologies. I have been using it exclusively for almost a year now and I am seeing visible changes in the laxity of the skin around my eyes. I wanted to write about this product because I was removing my makeup the other night and looked in the mirror and noticed that the skin around my eyes was significantly firmer. To say I was pleasantly overjoyed would be an understatement.

Eye Contour Beauty Shortlist
Image used with permission from Arylide Life Sciences, the Canadian distributor for Endor Technologies

There are a couple of things that I initially always look for in an eye cream. I want a product that will work with my highly sensitive eyes and something that works well to prep my skin for makeup. I conceal around my eyes every day because of vascular darkness, and not all eye creams work well with concealer. Using a product that helps to deflect from the darkness and does not crease with movement means that I use less makeup and helps keep the makeup I do apply stay in place for the whole day.

Often, in my experience, eye creams that are built to be anti-aging are made with highly active ingredients. This is great for many people, but not for me. My eyes are very sensitive ever since I had an allergic reaction a few years ago, so I have to be very careful with what I use around them. Many highly active products I have used in the past have caused me some pretty major reactions and I have had to stop using them because of this.

Endor Eye Cream packs an anti-aging punch without causing me to react. They do this by using ingredients (and science) that gets ingredients into the skin in order to cause a physiological change to the skin. So instead of putting highly active ingredients to supplement the skin they use active ingredients to cause your skin to create more hyaluronic acid and build collagen on it’s own.

How do they achieve this wonder, you ask?

Nanotechnology. Basically that means that they take a molecule and reduce it in size, allowing it to penetrate deeper into the skin. In Endor’s case, this ingredient is Gold Thioethylamino Hyaluronic Acid. These spherical nanoparticles get deep into the skin, and through a cell signalling process, cause our body to produce more of our own hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin. Three things that we produce less and less of as we age, but all vital components in keeping skin in a youthful state.

Photographic evidence from a 28 day study conducted by Endor Technologies. Image used with permission from Arylide Life Sciences.

Endor Eye Contour also contains ingredients to immediately and visibly reduce the appearance of dark circles around the eyes and, as already mentioned, it is a fantastic base for makeup. I find it non greasy, easy to apply, and my eyes feel refreshed immediately.

I apply a small amount of this product around my eyes both morning and night. You can see in the picture below how much I use in each application. My first jar of this product lasted me so long that I just recently purchased my second jar, and I have been using this eye cream for roughly one year.


Because this product comes in a jar I use a cotton swab or small stick (you can use a toothpick too) to decant it. I do not put my fingers directly into the product because I do not want to possibly transfer bacteria from my hands into it.


You can find the Endor Eye Contour cream in professional practices around the world. Click here to visit their website to find a practice near you.

Until next time,



beauty, Education, Skin Care, Uncategorized


I recently saw a friend’s post asking people to participate in a group challenge posting gratitude posts for the month of September. It got me thinking about what I am grateful for. Of course I am grateful for my family and friends. I think we tend to always think in that direction when asked what we are grateful for, but we don’t always give thanks or recognition to the professional part of our lives. At least I don’t always move that way. Not because I don’t have a lot to be thankful for professionally, but because I guess I have always felt that I am supposed to only talk about gratitude in a personal sense.

Sounds funny even as I type it because I have had an amazing career so far, and it wasn’t just because of perseverance and elbow grease. I have so many supportive and amazing people who have worked with me, given me advice, and often seen my potential before I ever did. I would not be where I am if not for them.

The beauty industry has some, often strange, connotations. People can sometimes give the impression that the industry is full of vain, self-centered people. We do makeup, paint nails, peel, plump, and pluck our way through the world. So we must be superficial since we work on the superficial, right? We must be that made for television version of ourselves, pushing each other out of our own way grasping for the next face, the next bottle, the next sale…right?

I could tell you those stories, but I think I’ll save them for my scripted reality show.

The truth is that I have definitely encountered people in this industry who do represent that pop culture image of being in the beauty industry. They probably exist in every industry. But I have encountered many more amazing, uplifting individuals than I can count. Truly inspiring and hard working people who support and lift each other up. In fact, the friend’s post I mentioned early, well she’s one of them. One of the very best people I ever worked with. She was even my manager at one point, and one of the best I have ever had.

I could list many names, from the director who barely knew me but saw something in me, making me a program director leading me to my love of curriculum development, to the people I worked with at a non-profit who suggested I apply for a national volunteer position leading me to working with fellow educators from across the country. I hold every single one of them close to my heart.

My point is that it is easy to say that you worked hard for your career. Yes, you worked for it. But what about showing a little gratitude for all those people that pushed you and gave you advice along the way? Have you thanked them?

I leave you with this request, tell them. They might not even know how they have impacted you, and you may lead them to thank those that have inspired them.

And that is how we spread gratitude.

Until next time,



Education, Skin Care, Uncategorized

Microneedling & Wound Healing

Microneedling, dermal needling, derma rolling, collagen induction therapy.

All terms to describe the method of poking small holes into the skin in order to induce a wound that then, through the healing process, creates a thicker and healthier skin. This occurs through our skin’s amazing ability to heal itself and the process it goes through to do so.

Today I am going to go through the stages of the treatment and explain the different stages of healing.

My model has an oily skin type and has struggled with acne in the past. Her goal was to diminish fine lines on the forehead, improve overall texture due to acne scarring, and increase facial volume.

I started the treatment by cleansing the face with a gel-based cleanser and prepping the skin with a solution for dermaplaning. I used DermaplanePro’s AHA/BHA Prep Solution for this, and used a 10R butter blade from them as well. Below is a picture before treatment, but after cleansing and prepping.


The dermaplaning portion of the treatment is not required prior to needling the skin, but can be done. I will save the dermaplaning for another blog post, but here is a picture of what it looks like.


After dermaplaning I applied a numbing solution and covered the face with plastic. The numbing cream I used is by Lush Color and it sat on the skin for 2o minutes. I performed a tactile test prior to starting the needling to ensure that the skin was sufficiently numb. By numbing the skin we can ensure that our client has a comfortable experience during the needling treatment.


I then started needling on the forehead. I used the Eclipse Micropen from Salient Medical for this treatment. I used a depth of 1.5 mm on the forehead, cheeks, and chin. A depth of 0.25 mm was used around the eyes and over the nose. During the treatment I applied Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel as my glide. This hyaluronic acid based product is used to aid in easily gliding the pen over the area being treated and to increase hydration in the skin. You should confirm with the skin care lines you are working with that all products used during needling are safe to be used with the procedure, and have been tested as such.

During Needling

Pinpoint bleeding was noted all over, with increased bleeding on the forehead, which in my experience, is quite normal. Bleeding ceased as soon as the area was wiped with sterile gauze and saline solution. This is what the skin looked like immediately following treatment.

Immediately After

A Vitamin C serum was applied immediately post treatment. I used Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Serum. The tiny holes that were created during the treatment allow the serum to penetrate deeper into the skin. This is best achieved in a 15 minute window post needling. After that 15 minutes, the skin then starts the healing process and you will not achieve the best penetration of products after that time. A biocellulose mask (also from Skinceuticals) was then applied over the serum, and was left to sit for 10 minutes.


The biocellulose mask is used to aid in calming the area and for increased penetration of the serum. Below is immediately post mask removal. At this point the skin has begun the inflammatory phase of wound healing. In this stage a variety of substances are being secreted by tissue cells and blood in order to help overcome potential pathogens overtaking the area. Pathogens are invaders that, if left, can attack our healthy tissue and cause infection and disease. The skin is attempting to “wash itself” and will try to flush out anything it perceives as foreign. This is why that 15 minute window is so important and also why we used a hyaluronic acid gel during treatment. The gel and the serum used immediately after were pushed deep into the skin prior to the skin flushing itself.


I had an amazing model to work with and she sent me pictures of her progress throughout the healing process, along with her experience. Below is 6 hours post treatment. Her face was red and felt swollen. This is because she was in that inflammatory stage of wound healing still. At this point in the inflammatory stage neutrophils have reached the wound site, and will be at their full capacity by 24 hours. They do the job of being the first healing cells on the job, and will, in very simple terms, neutralize foreign invaders. She applied Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Masque and Epidermal Repair to sleep in that night. Phyto Corrective Masque was created to be used post treatment for a variety of clinical skin procedures. It helps to calm and cool the skin, and is full of hyaluronic acid to bind water to the area.

6 hours post

17 hours post her face felt warm, but she noted it did not feel sore or tender. She had cleansed her face with witch hazel and then applied Skinceuticals CE Ferulic and Epidermal Repair. Epidermal Repair was used to create an artificial barrier over the skin, as the skin’s natural barrier had been damaged during the procedure. She was still in the inflammatory stage of wound healing at this point, and her focus was to keep the skin protected so it could continue a healthy healing process and move into the proliferative phase.

17 hours post 117 hours post 2

31 hours post treatment and her skin was starting to feel itchy and had a rough texture. She described her skin as feel quite “thirsty” and continued to apply Epidermal Repair throughout the day. The rough texture was due to the skin moving into a proliferative stage of wound healing. During the transition to this stage macrophages will begin to do their job. Macrophages are cells that are stationed in connective tissues and have some ability to move around during the healing process. When they move around, they secrete a variety of growth factors. These growth factors are vital in the transition between the two phases.

31 hours post 131 hours post 2

48 hours post treatment the skin began to flake and shed. She continued to apply Skinceuticals CE Ferulic every morning and Epidermal Repair throughout the day. She also slept in the Phyto Corrective Masque every night. The skin is now beginning to re-epithelialize and heal itself through the creation of more collagen. This process will speed up epidermal skin cell production, therefore increasing cell renewal factor, causing the skin to appear more youthful in the days and weeks to come.

48 hours post 148 hours post 248 hours post 3

72 hours and we have more flaking and shedding. Skin tone is beginning to become more uniform, especially on the forehead. She no longer feels the need to use Epidermal Repair, but continues to use CE Ferulic every morning. She is continuing through the proliferative stage, making more collagen and increasing epidermal cell production.

72 hours post 172 hours post 2

2 weeks later and she notes that she feels a smoother texture to the skin, increased volume, diminished fine lines, and follicles appear smaller. She continues to use CE Ferulic daily. I have advised her that she should abstain from UV exposure, continue with her skin care routine, and can have another treatment in 6 weeks time. She is now in the remodelling phase of the wound healing process. During this phase the collagen that was being produced during the proliferative phase is becoming more organized, creating a more uniform foundation for the epidermis. Shedding and flaking has ceased, and she is left with a renewed epidermis. The full effects of her treatment will not be seen until up to 6 months post, as the body will continue creating and organizing collagen.

2 weeks post 12 weeks post 2

I am very excited to watch her skin evolve from these treatments. We will talk more about needling treatments in future blog posts, so stay tuned for more to come.

Please note: I was not paid or endorsed for any products or the model used in this blog post. This post is for educational purposes only, and expresses my own thoughts and feelings. Dermaplaning and microneedling treatments should not be performed at home and should only be performed by a certified professional. Always ask your service provider where they received their certification in both procedures.

Until next time,


Audrey (a.k.a. #theskinteach)

Adult Education, Education, Uncategorized


As a teacher in adult education I think on that word a lot.

What is worth, worth?

As an educator, it is your number one job to impart on your students that they have worth. Too many educators think it is just about giving facts, handing out tests, and demonstrating a skill for them to copy. Of course your students came to you to gain your knowledge and you absolutely have to prepare them for tests, but don’t you also need to prepare them to be successful people?

If your answer to that last question is “no, it’s not my problem what they do after school” then I suggest that you try and take a different look at the situation.

If you have a student that is struggling there are a number of things you can do. We are trained to address different learning styles, and a good teacher will deliver a lesson that meets all of those needs. But a great teacher goes even further.

A great teacher empowers their adult students to take their learning into their own hands, make their own decisions, and feel their own self worth.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel – Maya Angelou

When I started in adult education I really felt the need to control my classroom. Especially in the beauty industry, there was this idea that we needed to make students act and look like robots. We were like drill sergeants. It was always very uncomfortable to me to do this, and so, my delivery sucked. I definitely made some of my students feel less self worth by following this old way of thinking. It was a very rookie mistake and I regret it deeply.

I can’t explain to you all when exactly the change happened for me, but I slowly started to let go of that need to control and started to acknowledge my students as the human beings they all are. When I did that something magical happened. They lit up, and most of them have no problem following the rules set in place for them because I started following the exact same rules. It’s called leading by example. I know you all have heard this term, but do you actually follow it?

When we don’t lead by example we create a hierarchy. That makes students feel small and less than. They are not small, nor are they less than you are. They are the future of your industry and we need them to go into the working world with excitement and passion. You control that and it is a powerful place to be. Do not abuse that power.

Years later, as I went on to a role that involved the direction of the program I once taught, I got to put my methods to the test on a whole other level. In my strategy for the coming academic year I used the theme of “no bad students”. I worked hard to now empower other educators to use my philosophy in their teaching. And I watched it work.

I have moved on to another college since then, but continue to use this method of teaching worth on a daily basis. I want my students to feel that my classroom is a safe place to explore thoughts and ideas; that we do not always agree, but that everyone has the same level of worth in this world. At the end of the day, my reward for this is watching their success and being there for mentorship when they ask for it. Being their teacher does not end the day they leave my class.

These are my thoughts and I would love to hear yours. Please share your education experiences by commenting on this post.

Until next time,

Audrey (a.k.a. #theskinteach)