If They Come, They Care

If They Come, They Care

www.katenonesuch.comI expected it to be an interesting activity. I was sure people would take part, and hoped they would enjoy it. But they didn’t seem to care.

I gathered some objects on a table in the classroom–modelling clay, bread dough, a crumpled plastic bag, rubber bands, pebbles, a plastic mug and a ceramic mug, Continue reading

The Heart Connected to the Ear

The Heart Connected to the Ear

Armando Gutierrez is the author of  “You Don’t Know Me,” a piece which I re-blogged about the great difficulties overcome, the supreme effort that some GED students put forth in order to come to class. A couple of months ago he posted a comment where I had re-blogged his original story, that started me thinking. He asked two questions: Could you deal with some of the issues your GED students are facing each day? And if you were, would you not want a caring ear to listen to you? The simple answers are no, and yes. Continue reading

What’s Wrong with This Picture?

Dear Mom,
You are always wondering what my job is and what I do for work. A while back I worked with a group of adults in a research project who listed all their needs before they could return to regular school. It was a huge list. What I do is try to support the programs that offer learning to these adults.
Today I am in a swank hotel in Vancouver, surrounded by glitz, food and chocolate, talking about Literacy.
What Is wrong with this picture?
Dee Continue reading

Building Strong Relationships with Learners

Building Strong Relationships with Learners

For the past week or so, I’ve been writing about five strategies for developing stronger rteaching adult literacy elationships with learners:

All five strategies are written up in one article published in the ELMO Review. (Click on the image.)

Any thoughts on these strategies as a whole? What’s your most useful strategy or habit for building strong relationships with adult learners?

Say How You Feel

Say How You Feel

Like most of us I can’t hide my feelings. They show on my face, or in the set of my shoulders, or the sweaty palm prints I leave on the desk or table. Most students (like anybody else) will assume that my feelings have something to do with them. Here’s an example:

I’m in the middle of teaching and the student asks me to explain something again. (He still doesn’t get it after the third time.) I’m about to start the explanation when I notice the clock and suddenly remember that I have to cut this session short for an emergency meeting about a crisis in the program.

All my feelings about the meeting come over me–worry, wonder, anger, confusion, etc. These feelings show on my face or in my body–tight lips, far-away look, and hunched shoulders. Continue reading

800% Improvement

800% Improvement

At the end of the first week of class, I did a round, asking people what surprised them about the first week.

Billy’s response was, “I’m surprised I’m still here. Usually I drop out of these things after the first morning.”

He didn’t come back on Monday, and I never saw him again.

So there you are. Billy, a veteran of starting many programs–back to school, life skills, job readiness–had attended eight sessions the first week, instead of dropping out after the first morning Continue reading

You Don’t Know Me

Today I’m re-blogging. (Who knew that I could do such a thing, or that the word existed?) Here’s a piece from the Florida Literacy Coalition’s Blog, by Armando J. Gutierrez, Ed.D., which appeared today. I think it speaks for itself.

Florida Literacy Blog

You watched me come to your class just like any other student. You greeted me with a warm smile and caring eyes. You asked me to have a seat in your inviting classroom. I watched you speak words I didn’t understand. I watched as the other students raised their hands to question your words. I sat in the cold seat as the minutes went by like hours. I heard you call my name, and I waited for you to ask me, who I was.

You don’t know the painstaking ordeal it took for me to get here this morning. You don’t know how it feels to wake up in the dark or the fear in my heart when I have to wait for the bus. You don’t know that I have no umbrella, or why my clothes are wet and unkempt when I enter your class. You think I can’t…

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