Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 4

As I sat at work today, I felt feelings of nervousness and excitement. August is just around the corner, this means that my class starts soon!

Today I sent out letters to the students I called last week about our next screening on August 2nd. It really amazes me how many people in our community are in need of literacy assistance. Not having the skill of literacy would be like trying to navigate a dark room without a light. Think about your everyday life, and how many times you read something.

Try this exercise for the day:
Take a small pad of paper and a pen along with you for the day. Every time you read something, anything at all, put a tally mark on your pad of paper. At the end of the day, count all your tallies. This will really make you realize how many times you utilize your reading skills, and how much literacy and reading skills impact people on a day-to-day basis.

After I stuffed the envelopes with all the information about the screening, I watched more of the lessons I will be teaching, and made a phone call to a potential adult student. Not only will I be obtaining pedagogical skills during my time here, I am also gaining organizational and leadership skills.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 3

Today was a good day! I woke up feeling energized and excited. Got to see Bon Iver in concert in Indy last night, it's amazing how much music can impact the soul and ignite passion.

I arrived to LNGC and got to work. I put together the letters to my students to mail to them, and burn each lesson onto CD's for the other ABRP instructor to have. After I sealed all the letters, and got all the 45 lessons burnt onto CD's, I called the other students on our ABRP waiting list.
People call our Literacy Link Hotline (513-621-7323) if they feel like they need help with literacy skills, of if they know someone who needs help. From these calls we can gather people's needs and either help them through out services or refer them to other locations in Cincinnati who provide literacy and other educational classes.

I had about 25 calls to make to see if people could make it to our next screening.
Before a student enrolls in a level 1 or level 2 class, they must attend a screening session. At the screening we administer four reading tests to see what level they should be placed in. From there, they are either placed in the level 1 or 2 class or referenced elsewhere

Our next screening session will be held on August 2nd, with three sessions at 1, 2, and 3pm. Out of the 25 phone calls, I got 10 confirmed students.

Making the phone calls and interacting with the students is one of the most eye-opening experiences. It was so great to speak with students who are eager and ready to get class going.

On my drive home, I was reflecting on my life, and thought "DAMN, how great it is to help others." Then I thought, if everyone in the world would just pay it forward, and help one other person daily, we could make some BIG changes.

"We need to be the change we wish to see in the world." -Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 2

During my adventure at LNGC today, I worked with the ABRP coordinator to get the ball rolling on our classes. It is very exciting to think that I will be conducting and teaching my first class ever in the next couple of weeks.

We concluded on a start date (which will be August 18th.) I got my lesson plan together, and have every lesson set up from August 18 until January 19th. Once my lesson plans were complete, I edited our students info in our database and made personal phone calls to each of them to let them know when class is starting. It was such an interesting task to make phone calls to our students, because some are foreign, a lot have disconnected phones, and others use their relatives or grandparents phones to make calls. Coming from a middle-class family, it really opens my eyes to see how people in lower social economic status situations function and communicate. It makes me realize how many things I take for granted in my life, including a simple technological tool such as a cell phone. Talking to the students on the phone is not only a challenge, in some situations, but very gratifying. It is interesting to talk to them and hear in their voices how excited they are for class to start, and how much they urge to learn.

Next week we will be sending out letters with all the class information to our students, and will be creating a contract for our students.
Until next week, happy weekend! :)

"He who opens a school door, closes a prison." -Victor Hugo

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 1

So, today marks my first day back at LNGC. I worked in Communications at LNGC in 2010 and 2011, before returning to become the Adult Literacy Services Associate Instructor.

Today, I arrived to the classroom, and watched some of the videos of the lessons I will be teaching to our students. The ABRP classes will start in August and will be conducted twice a week for two hours each session. The classes will go on for 5 1/2 months, and we hope the majority of our students will graduate. I will be teaching the level 1 ABRP class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I am projected to have around 21 students. While sitting and watching the ABRP videos, I was thinking about all the adults in our country and in the world who are illiterate or struggle with basic literacy skills. It amazes me that people can be passed through school when they obviously are not reading at grade level. I am very excited to start this pedagogical journey and learn from my students.

After watching some of the lessons and familiarizing myself with them I sat in on a tutoring session. The tutoring session was very eye-opening. The program coordinator of ABRP worked with a woman from Somalia on the alphabet. It is so eye-opening to realize that many people in our country do not even know simple things such as the alphabet, and how it is even more of a struggle for people from other countries to learn our English language. Having the opportunity to meet her and spend an hour of my day with her was so gratifying. We got to talk about her life, her job, her family, and her children. It's so great to interact with and learn about different kinds of people and to really get the interpersonal communication going on. I think if we all just tried to be a bit more empathetic, or tried to "walk in someone else's shoes" maybe the world would be a better place. It's just very wonderful knowing that just maybe what I am doing twice a week is and will impact someone else's life in a positive manner. I think this is an important aspect of life people forget about a lot of the time while trying to function, live, and just "make it" in our fast-paced society. I look forward to many more experiences and learning more not only about teaching, and my students, but also about myself.

"The true aim of every one who aspires to be a teacher should be, not to impart his own opinions, but to kindle minds." - F. W. Robertson