A Guide To Shadowing A Community Nutrition Educator
Why do I need this guide?
Our goal is for you to have meaningful learning experiences when shadowing experienced community nutrition educators. This guide will make successful shadowing an ACTIVE learning process for you; a wonderful experience from seeing both our participants and our experienced community nutrition educators.
Overview of the Shadowing Process
Step 1- Your supervisor will connect you with the community nutrition educators you will be assigned to observe.
Step 2- It is your responsibility to coordinate the date, location, and time of the lesson that you will be observing. Once the time is set, share the information with your supervisor and update your outlook calendar.
Step 3 - Plan ahead by mapping out where groups are being held, and how to get there. Ask your partnering Community Educator if there is anything special you need to know about location, contact persons, and entering facilities.
Step 3- Find out which lesson plan is being taught each day you are joining a group. Print a copy of the lesson plan and the progression record that follows that lesson. Review both ahead of time to help you understand the lesson flow. Offer to assist the facilitator with tasks during the lesson.
Step 4- Practice makes perfect! After observing each lesson, complete a progression record on your own and then compare your notes with the facilitator. This is an excellent way to help you become more familiar with the lesson and to doing this type of paperwork. Your partner will value an extra pair of eyes for every lesson.
Step 5- If observed, provide the facilitator a Success Story that you heard during the lesson. This can be written in one brief paragraph.
Step 6- Meet with your supervisor to discuss your shadowing experience
Dos and Don’ts during your shadowing process:
- Attendance and Punctuality- Even though the lesson is not facilitated by you, you are expected to arrive earlier to observe and assist with the lesson set up. Discuss arrival time with your partnering Community Educator.
- Appearance- Always follow our professional dress code.
- Always follow the lead of your Educator when trying to decide what to actually do during the workshop. If you are not sure what to do, become a participant and join the activities.
- Never interrupt or correct an Educator during a workshop. If you have questions or concerns, address those directly with the Educator when you both have alone time. Keep your observations on a professional level.
- Share agency concerns with the Community Educator. If agency staff approach you with concerns, use your best professional behavior and reconnect them with the Educator.
- Confidentiality- You have access to confidential information about both our adult and youth participants. We make a commitment to provide confidentiality and protect our participant data. You must not share participants’ information or talk about participants with any individuals. Poor data handling by any CCE program staff could affect all the funding supporting nutrition education!
- Confidentiality includes photographs. Do not take photographs during the session unless you are instructed by CE to do so.
- Confidentiality includes note writing or taking notes during a workshop session. Sometimes our participants may think we are writing about them. Please write down important items or share them when the workshops ends and participants are not watching what you do.
- Do not use or view your cell phone during workshops. Turn your cell phone off or put it on silent mode and away during sessions. If you have an emergency please excuse yourself from the workshop to take care of it.
- If your partnering Community Educator is late, relax. There is probably a very good reason. One thing you can do is assure participants you will be getting started and depending on their comfort level, engage them in conversation about what they liked in the previous lesson and what they tried at home – recipes, physical activities, etc.
- When in doubt, ask the advice of your partnering Community Educator.
*Supervisor- share a copy of this document with community nutrition educator being observed.