Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Imagine me: In the middle of my living room floor, surrounded by scraps of paper, colored markers, and glue sticks. Well, that’s exactly where I was yesterday, preparing for a poster presentation in my tutoring class. Had no idea what my focus was until the last minute, and had no idea how to put it together. Standing around in Staples, I begin picking up all the stuff I thought might work until I realized, this was costing me way more than I had intended. But, then I remembered that book, All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum and it hit me: I need some construction paper, a glue stick, some colored markers and some scissors. You know what? It worked just fine. I had the feeling of being in a grade school art class, and as vexed as I was, it was actually kind of fun. That nagging pain that I had going down my neck and shoulders begin to let go as I scrupulously focused on cutting perfectly around the edges of my 21st century stick man. The focus of my poster was how our backgrounds and ideologies can sometimes get in the way of a tutoring session. From making eye contact with a student, to conflicts about whose responsibility it is to direct the session, conflicting goals and how past learning experiences all influence how we tutor.

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