Saturday, December 18, 2010

Where Did All The Students Go?

And so the students have vacated. Not vacation mind you, but vacated. There is the big holiday coming up soon and that is a chance for the students to go home and visit with their family for about three or four weeks which means I have very little teaching to do, especially on a Saturday. In their place however are many adults who are either teachers in their own right looking to move on to higher degrees, or are part of a program to get certificates in subjects such as Information and Communication Technologies. As the students leave, new ones arrive. Much older and much louder students at that.

I checked around with a few other teachers and it would appear that I do not need to teach this round of students. The type of education they receive may be more rapid-fire then my slower paced lessons which are directed at the first-years. I am hoping to sit in on a few classes but the main focus appears to be getting the teachers ready for written exams that take the better part of a day or so to write. Already several teachers have gravitated towards me and the lab asking if I could help them understand certain concepts for the upcoming test. The conversation has gone something like this:

Student: "Oh, hello Fo Koku! Please, can you teach me computers?"

Me: "Hi, ... um, sure. What do you need to know?"

Student: "Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Access. How to use the internet."

Me: "ehHah, ... well, that is a lot to teach in 15 minutes. We can try, but I am not promising anything."

(Sidenote: that sound, 'ehHah,' is often used when agreeing with something. I hear it in my sleep and now use the remark whenever I talk just out of habit. It sounds quite nasally on the 'Hah' part.)

I have spent six or seven hours teaching my students just Word alone and I left plenty on the cutting room floor so to speak in developing the lessons, so there is only so much one can really transfer if you have 15 minutes. I suspect that if I did try to help I would end up only confusing things and making less sense for those who sat and listened. If they ask, I will try.

I now have some time alone in the lab and I intend to make a few minor changes before the students come back. There is a need to ask the students to share internet time so I am researching the best way to easily kick people off of their session on the computer. I need to see if we can have any hope of fixing the now non-functioning 16 computers that were brand new and rearrange the lab so more old computers can sit closer to the switch and gain internet access. They are just small things to make the lab better, but they give me something to do which is what I need.

I suspect I am going to plow through more than a few books during the break. Should be good to relax a little and reflect where I have been so far and what I can do in 2011.

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