Friday, February 19, 2010

Never Turning Out Quite Like It Should...

I started evening classes this week, and boy was I prepared. I had tons of handouts printed, a Somali speaking volunteer lined up, and an actual, professional grade lesson plan prepared. I even made sure that I could have cookies and tea on hand so that we could have a nice discussion as the students looked over the material I had prepared. On Wednesday I had scheduled the beginning of a two-part class to teach residents the very basics of how to use a computer, i.e. mouse and keyboard. Last week I managed to sign 18 people up for this course, 18 for a computer lab that only has 10 stations. I figured that, statistically, I would have 5 people show up, even with reminders.Which would be fine.

Turns out that 6 people showed up, but not quite in the way that I had planned. Two of my teens decided to help me out, which I now thank my lucky stars for, as the show got started even before my open lab had finished. Two of my students showed up at 6:10 because they thought that the class started at 6:00 (it actually started at 6:30), so they were standing around for 20 minutes while I was still cleaning up and getting all of my stuff in place. The rest of the class trickled in between 6:30 and 6:40, which was when I decided to start class.

Three of the students were there for the class that I was prepared to give. Two were there for the class that was starting next Wednesday. And one was there who had apparently not even read the brochure, as he was far too advanced. None of them wanted to eat cookies or drink tea.


Still, everything turned out OK on Wednesday. My two teens plus my scheduled volunteer took care of the three students who were there for the actual course while I took care of the two week-early members. Even then things didn't turn out like I had wanted. The three went through their material at lightning speed, much faster than any of my other Somali speakers had gone in the past, so we ended up doing two lessons for the price of one. My other two students were at very different competency levels- one took to everything very easily while the other I believe was just barely following along.

My sixth student just sat at his computer and read Somali news the entire time. He promised to come back on Thursday to do a real course.

Fast forward to Thursday night, when I have scheduled my drop-in/1-on-1 tutoring class. My straggler student shows up, I help him out for maybe 15 minutes, and he spends the rest of the hour checking out Somali news. I had two other students signed up, but neither showed up.


Neither was particularly bad, but neither was particularly what I wanted, either. Then again, that's kind of what Skyline does to carefully wrought plans...

Until next time...

"I'll forget the Lord's middle name sometime, right in the midst of a storm, when I need all the help I can get."
- Mark Twain, a Biography

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