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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Faculty Q&A with Clinical Medical Assisting (occasional MOA) program instructor Lacey Wilde

November 8, 2022

As a Clinical Medical Assisting and Medical Office Administration programs’ faculty member on SJVC’s Santa Maria campus, Lacey Wilde knows a few things about connecting with students and helping them to feel supported in their career education goals. She boils it down to two primary dynamics: trust and respect, earned and given in equal measure.


How important are trust and respect in the classroom?

If you’re not showing it to your students, they’re not going to give it to you – and you’re going to have barriers. If you make yourself that example of giving, they will give it in return.


What does that example look like?

I like to incorporate my personal life in class; it humanizes me. The more I show myself to students, the more they enjoy – and trust – me. It connects my real life to their real life. I try to get to know each of them as a student and figure out the right approach to reach them…and always building that trust.

It’s not just reading out of a textbook but sharing my own professional experiences – that’s the powerful moment for me.


What student outcome are you looking for? 

I want Academic and career success for our students and graduates, along with making sure they grow as individuals and professionals. A lot of them have not had the best role models and needed life skills as well as professional accomplishments. They learn time management, how to create rapport with others, manage life challenges and how to take accountability for their own actions. Those are the things we incorporate in class every day.


How do you help students make that leap into life management – and job — success? 

A lot of times you’re the guiding train conductor for them, making sure they’re on the right path. I had a student just say to me, ‘How does it feel knowing that every student getting a job, you’re responsible for their careers?’ Well, I’m not responsible for their careers, but I do help them get there. I give them the skills they need to know how to move forward.


Who gave you that little nudge and inspiration to succeed in your own career? 

I once had in instructor in Medical Assisting school who helped me realize my potential. He said to me, ‘You’re not a dumb blonde, so stop acting like one.’ Maybe harsh, but that was a turning point and I quit being lazy. I was capable of so much more and from that moment forward I really strived to be what he saw in me.


What important insights do you give your students? 

They start out with high motivation, but the tougher it gets, the harder it is to stay engaged. I tell my students that some things might be boring, but we still have to do them. Even if I can’t ‘flavor-up’ a lecture, they will still need to know the content. I remind them of what they want their own success to look like.

I encourage them to stay confident. If you are confident, people will believe in you. You will gain more skills, more respect and be successful in everything you endeavor to accomplish.


What is your most immediate goal? 

Summer months are always hard, so just motivating students to come to class and do all they need to do is my biggest thing right now. So, I work harder to give them something to look forward to in class, something to be excited about.


What are some of your favorite times with students? 

Seeing that ‘lightbulb moment’ when everything kind of comes together for them. Whether it’s that they finally connected the dots in class, are settled in their externship, talking with them at graduation, or they’ve gotten that medical career position – you can see that it suddenly makes sense to them. It all clicks, and they can see it is a life accomplishment.


What is most important to you about what you do? 

It is important to be glad where you are and to strive for more that it could be. I see students and graduates getting what they want. They vocalize that this is a good decision and that they feel confident in their instructors, their programs, and their career choice. That definitely keeps me motivated for my students.

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