by, 02-07-2007 at 05:33 PM (560 Views)
I'm so pleasantly surprised to find that, despite my inexperience with professional teaching, I am still so excited and happy when opportunities to teach arise.
I had a videoconference class today, and there were some technical difficulties. I helped the techie who came to fix the problem out, demonstrating to the class that I know a thing or two, but there were still enough things to be sorted out that I couldn't help with to leave us lesser beings sitting quietly waiting for the video to come on.
As I'm sitting, a classmate, lets call him Bob, sat next to me.
"Hey," he says, "I couldn't get my paper that's due today printed, do you think you could help me?"
I ask him if he had been trying to print in a computer lab, which he was, and asked if he had made sure to sign in under his school account, which he did, and if he had made sure that he selected the specific printer for the lab he was in to print to, which he also said he did.
So I said "well, that's all I know how to do, anything beyond that you'll need to ask the lab monitor."
Bob is a dramatic person. He never wants to be wrong, and if he realizes he is wrong, he will stil argue his incorrect point until he dies. People roll their eyes when he starts going on semi-political rants because none of his support is factual, its all based on his experiences and opinion. Right now, I hear groans as he begins his speech about how the lab moniters at this school are never actually in the lab, and how they really don't know what they're doing, and the printers are always out of ink or paper with no one to fill them...blah blah blah
At this point, I know I can't help him, so I tune it out while he sits next to me and goes on.
Then he goes "Well, I guess I could e-mail it to him still, right?"
I said he could. He asks if I can help him, and I'm thinking maybe he thinks that he has to sign in on something extra to use the Internet or something...because he really seems like a computer-competent guy; I've e-mailed him before at a hotmail address and gotten responses, so surely, he knows how to attach documents to an e-mail, right?
Apparently not. Bob, mr. know-it-all-and-nobody-can-say-otherwise, leans in and whispers "Actually, I don't know how to do that stuff. I always just give the professor a hard copy, but since I can't print, and I don't want this to be late...well...can you teach me after class?"
I nod, because the video conference starts working and the professor is calling for attention, but for the next half hour of class I'm too excited at the thought of teaching somebody something useful that will make their life so much easier in the future...that I'm not really paying attention. I'm just excited to teach, after all this reading and studying and taking tests about teaching...I want to actually DO some teaching, and today I got to do a little teaching, even if it was just one student and a 15-minute lesson on e-mail attachments (turns out the lab's printer was having issues).
I like teaching. It makes me happy. It also makes me happy to think that I'm the kind of person that a person like Bob feels comfortable coming up to and admitting that he doesn't understand how to do something.