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My Narrative 2
Transcript of My Narrative 2
It reminded me of when I was a young adult, with my first clerical job. I got hired because I had taken a “memory writer course” so I knew how to operate the system, but I could not type. My employer did not know that, they assumed that if I knew how to operate this machine, then I must know how to type. To say the least, I made mistakes, and my work took more time than some others. I did not get a Christmas bonus that year, when everyone else did – that’s another story.
So anyhow I went into this class eager, and nervous, and I tried to make a connection with the class. You see the department as a rule, had had problems with the use of facebook, msn messenger, etc, and for the first time this year they implemented a no internet rule for all classes.
So my first class came and I introduced myself to the cohort of students, played a bit of a name game, and then set my expectations of the class, and asked what they wanted from the class. I talked about the rule of internet, and said that the first five minutes of class they could update facebook, tweet, whatever, but then the time was for class related stuff. This really does not have anything to do with what happened, it is just an indication of how I was approaching the class.
A few weeks into teaching, there was one student who I constantly had to monitor, as she refused to use the proper fingers on the keys. I could see she was struggling. When I was looking she made a huge effort to type properly, but when she thought I was not looking she would go to the search and peck method. So everyday, we would go through the lesson, and the students would practice, I would walk around and help as necessary. It was really cool, students would say I find this reach hard, and I would be able to offer tips, and validate their frustration and agree that it was not an easy reach.
But this one student, just was not getting it, not trying. She was so focused on getting through the practice sheets, and keeping up with the class. No matter how much I told everyone that they have to work at their own pace, and that we have many more weeks to get through this, and I would emphasis all the reasons that it is necessary to have the proper keyboarding strokes as they move forward.
I had encouraged this girl softly, warmly, encouraging her that she could do this. I used all the tools to stop her from looking at the keyboard. Then one day, during the first part of the class, I kept catching her cheating. It was probably three weeks into the class, and I finally, frustrated, asked to see her outside. I knew the girls would be starting the next level of keyboarding within a couple of weeks, and had to get her to focus and stop cheating. We stepped outside of the class and she leaned against the wall with her arms crossed. I don’t remember exactly how the dialogue went in detail, but I asked her why she continued to cheat on the keyboarding? She did not really have an answer, except that she wanted to keep up in the book. I asked her if she was practicing outside of class, she just looked at me. I asked her do you want to fail? No, she said, I just find it hard to use the right fingers. Again she mentioned about keeping up with the class.
I said the only person you are cheating is yourself. You are the only person that you are affecting, and that she is risking failing, and will not be able to move on. She began to tear up. I did not soften very much. I did offer encouragement, and reminded her to practice, but that was all. I could not believe I made a student cry. I had been told stories from other teachers how them confronting a student, and the student crying. I did not think that would happen to me. Was it power, how could I have that much affect on a student? I truly believed that she was cheating herself. She was keeping up, she wasn’t learning to type properly. Was I that incapable of teaching someone how to type. Was I a phony?
We went back into the classroom and she packed up her stuff and came back later for the word processing part of the afternoon.
I don’t know what happened after that, I was taken from the classroom a couple of days later due to a labour dispute (someone who had more seniority than me took my place) There were 30 princes, and princesess who came from all teh lands to be trained to work magic with their fingers.
A special fairy teacher was flown in from Fairy Land. This Fairy was new to teaching, but she had a lot of practical experience.
The Fairy was eager to teach these wonderful princes, and princesses, but was nervous about doing a good job. She was a kind fairy and was supportive to her learners. But there was one preces who refused to learn the proper movement of her hands and fingers to perform the magic. She would look at the other learners and copy each movement - it was considered cheating!
This would not do. This princess would fail this step and would not be able to move on to the next course and be successful in the program.
The teacher fairy, after weeks, of trying finally took the princess outside during one of the classes, and told her she would fail if she did not try to do it properly and on her own, as the lessons would only get more difficult as we went along. The princess began to cry, and with her magical tears, she transformed into who she really was...... the QUEEN of the FAIRIES! "Well", she said, "It is not I who fails - it is you!" and with that the teacher fairy was turned into a frog, until she could prove to the Fairy Queen that she had learned to be ore supportive ways to support learning when it does not go as planned.
I found this process so interesting! When I changed my story to a fairytale. It answered the question of "What would you have done different?" I would have waited to see the student when classes were over, chatted over coffee or privately in my office. I would have tried to find out a bit more of why she felt necessary to hurry the process, and what was holding her back from learning the correct keystrokes. Did she have a computer at home, if not, was she able to practice at school? What was her story? Click on the link below to begin my story Let me out. Let me out!
How long have you been in this same position?
Naming, Labeling, all plays a part.
They stop listening, what do you know?
You are only a secretary, and have your role. It does not matter that the position has evolved and grown.
You facilitate learning, but some can’t see it, not in meetings, not in your work with students, not in any of the learning you facilitate.
You break out – now what!
What if you can’t do it?
Will you be an imposter?
A classroom is a complicated world
Where did we come from?
Where are we now?
Voices – silent and heard
What will we all learn
The Box Please open with care, and constant reflection on what’s inside Really - You could have handled it differently Final Thoughts