my first meeting (yikes!)

September 26, 2007

For some unknown reason, I was really nervous about meeting my student for the first time. I taught English as a Second Language before, but this seems different. Questions on the matter began to fill my head What do I do? Will it be awkward? What do I say? WADE? Wilson? Megawords? Augustine? WHAT?! Will I even remember those rules and sounds learned so long ago? ACK! Oh..what if I say something stupid? What if I turn them off from learning? blah, blah, blah… What did I get myself into?

I was a little overwhelmed, to say the least. Obviously, I had to get over myself. The first week will be OK. We are simply going to get to know each other, do a little assessment…no worries. So, we met. It went….ummm…fine…I guess. Actually, I kinda sorta stumbled through introducing myself and asking my student questions. It was a bit awkward and we sat in silence a few times. Not exactly the fabulous gab session I envisioned. We finished after only 15 minutes. (Way to get to know your student there!)

OK, what next? Oh yes, the assessment. My student and I planned on meeting that same week to do the assessment. The second meeting was about the same as the first. I tried asking more questions…little small talk. It didn’t seem to work. (eh) So we trucked on with the test. It lasted a little longer than our first meeting. 25 minutes. Again, not the connection I was hoping for. Sooooo… our first real class will be next week. See you there! bye! bye! If this is how the first two meeting went, how will the rest of our sessions be?

Oh man, what do I do now? Oh yeah…Lesson Planning! yay! Not quite. Now I actually have to apply what I learned in tutor training. At this point, I feel like I’ve forgotten everything. So I read over the training manual, yahoo group files (p.s. Rebecca, your worksheets are awesome!), instructor manual, online resources…and the list goes on. I meet with Gardy and Yashna.. OK, good…things are looking up. I feel more confident at this point. Eventually, I write out a lesson and practice it. I feel ready. Things will be good.

First lesson day! I come 30 minutes early to get things ready. Instructor manual? check! Sound cards? check! Magnet board? check! Student workbook? check! homework? check! extra paper? check! Very good. I’m ready. My student comes through the door…we chat a bit (more comfortably this time) yay, we’re off to a good start. We go step-by-step through the lesson plan. My student catches on quickly, and smiles brightly when they realize they put together an unknown word for the first time. An hour or so later, we have completed the lesson. I give them some homework, and they’re out the door with a bounce to their step. Where did the time go? I can’t wait until the next time we meet again.

~Regina

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