500 Words At A Time: As A Teacher, Part 20

A short day, but eventful for me day as a teacher. As I wrote yesterday, I am seen as less than an expert by the students. Possibly an accessory to the teacher, but not an expert. I could go on about how odd this is especially when there is plenty of evidence that they have seen and touched, albeit some of them only touched my print portfolio with the tips of their fingers like adults holding a soiled diaper, but I won’t.

I wasn’t sure what to expect today, as yesterday left me with a sour taste in my mouth to assist, but I did let two of the students know that if they brought in their material I or PK would look at it and do what we could. Both brought their stuff.

Color me surprised and pleased. A pleasant surprise, if you will.

The design issue I passed onto PK, as he is more design oriented than I am. While he ran Cutthroat Chopped, a resume challenge, I worked on the other student’s issue. This student had been presenting some odd looking print documents and we didn’t know why and do not ask me why it never occurred to ask this student what was going on, but it finally happened (lesson learned for me, ask). The student had been using Power Point instead of Word. Explaining that Power Point was easier to use and get the results the student wanted. Makes sense, except when attempting to create a book-like object.

Step One, discover root of issue. Check.

Step Two, the student copies and pastes all Power Point slides into a Word document. Check.

Step Three, I marvel at the “interface” between two Microsoft Office products. Check.

What should have been a quick lesson on resizing images, text wrapping, and then onto a small discussion on font choices quickly turned into a two and three person operation as we, meaning the Professor, PK, and I, marveled at the various conversions.

One of my favorites was taking a sentence, converting it to a header, and watching the results. For example: Bob Has Lunch converted from Power Point to a Header in Word, became bob HAS lunch. Awesome. Just awesome.

Keep in mind, my plan was to teach the student the basics of Word. That way they could work on the document at home, creating what they wanted, but the conversion process took up enough time that I was not able to teach as much as I wanted. In fact, I am not sure I taught anything. Time limit meant that it was more important to me that the student see that they had the start of a print portfolio than teach them information that might not improve moral as much as seeing what they have.

In the end, the student left with a 5 page document that looks a lot more like a print portfolio than before. The student also got some suggestions and advice. Hopefully, the student listens. With some additional assistance from myself and PK, I can see this being a good portfolio.

What about the design issue? PK knocked that out the park, went on to run Cutthroat Chopped and the winner (forgot a pic) was a student who I offered some suggestions to as I walked by. Not bad at all.


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