500 Words At A Time: As A Teacher, Part 8

I’m finding that I enjoy working with students one on one more than bulk learning. I probably spend too much time reading body language, facial expressions, and listening to what and how they respond than I should, but that is who I am and Ho I interact with people. Those skills allow me to suss out when someone is not getting something, has an ah ah moment, or is feeding me a line of what they think I want to hear…or on occasion allow me to put a student in their place with a well crafted retort. Yes, I have had to put a student or two in their place when they get too smart for their own mouth. The easiest way has been to ask them a question.  Works with the kids too.

That seems to be my intersection point too, kids. I am the stay at home parent. I have been raising the kids for over a decade now and a lot of how I interact with them has found its way into the classroom. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing or just a thing. When teaching our kids something I don’t do for them, at least not any more. I show them. I demonstrate for them. I explain to them. Then I let them go. They know that they can come to me with questions and for further instruction or explanation, but they have to try first before I will step in.

The first time I taught, I feel that I did a bit too much of stepping-in to do things. Not because the students couldn’t do something, but because of the time available, to me it seemed that it was faster to show and do for them, to get them up to speed.  What I noticed was a lot of what I see in the kids, which is since I did it once I should be willing to do it again. This time, I have not done. I have offered my expertise and time.

There are a few students who previously worked with WordPress, they jumped in and began working. There are a couple who have not worked with WordPress, however since I am not teaching a blog class but a portfolio class I skipped several dozen lessons to get to the meat which is how to create pages, posts, and the like. Then I sit back and watch. Students who have questions either ask me directly or raise their hand. I don’t do, unless the student has tried and not gotten anywhere. Thankfully, the students try repeatedly before asking for my assistance.

The technical side under control my other task is to advise. Advising is strange. Each portfolio is supposed to represent the student, not what I or the professor thinks. I do my best to ask questions to get the student to think about what I, as a prospective reader sees, then offer suggestions. What they decide is ultimately put to them. It has been interesting watching the portfolios grow from blank pages to signs of progress to personality. All of them have room to grow and continue to add their personal touches to their portfolios, but they are beginning to see that it is theirs and I am enjoying watching the process unfold.


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