a good measure

My students have been improving considerably.  Two in particular, M & F (no, not Mom & Floyd, but another M & another F!), have caught the I-want-to-learn bug.

M has improved his mathematics skills considerably (among other skills).  It’s not easy to do ‘mental math’ without guidance and practise.  We’re using the practices of 1) using fingers to count, 2) memorization (as in the multiplication table), 3) writing out problems long-hand, and 4) using a calculator for complex calculations or to check one’s work.  Because M is in a Montessori program (and, no, it isn’t just for playschool, preschool, and kindergarten – it’s valid all throughout elementary school and beyond), it involves practical life (understanding everyday activities), sensorial (tactility, sound, vision, etc.), academic (mathematics, language arts, histories, the sciences), and societal (creativity, games, group work, social activity).  It’s not just reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic anymore, folks.  So, part of yesterday’s homework is fractions and their uses.  What’s the good in knowing fractions unless you can use them?  He’s a creative fellow, so he could go on to use this skill in everyday life.

No, he’s not helping me build the trailer.  He’s reading the tape measure in the pictures.

F has improved his reading skills. It started with not knowing the phonics of letters and combinations of letters of the alphabet, having difficulty writing letters in patterns, and knowing sight words.  Now he’s sounding out words he doesn’t know and breezing through those he does.  It’s about not being intimidated by the written word, I think, and he’s come a long way in this.  He says he enjoys writing, so hopefully this will pull him along in the reading thing, too.  Plus, I promised him a prize (a notebook from Korea) if he reads really well – something to shoot for.

intro to mentor

D.F. is my Mentor, set up by ASET.  We emailed a few times and spoke today by phone.  What an interesting conversation!  He’s in the architectural world, and I’m his 4th mentee.  The first 3 were all young people.  I’m his first old guy.

We talked about marketing one’s self, the industry(s), expectations of employers, personal backgrounds … lots of things.  I’ll sit and think about what he said for a while before embarking on any more comments.

He did give me homework though.  Yes, homework again!  Not easy homework, either.  I am to create an “elevator speech” for our next conversation in a few weeks from now.  …  I had this ages ago in the ESL world, although I didn’t know it was a thing, per se.

high-pitched squeaky-talk

In reading about ocean life, as mentioned in my previous Ongoing Letter entry, I saw this article, “How to talk to little kids“.  (No, you didn’t read it wrong.  I know the two concepts aren’t related.  But there was an ad, if you can call it that, to read the article.  And of course, being an ex-kids’-teacher, I had to click on it.)

I don’t agree with all of it, but one thing the article mentioned that also drove me a little batty when teaching kids is adults’ habit of talking in high-pitched squeaky-talk sing-song voices.  Aunts or uncles or grandparents would come by sometimes and say, in a sing-song tone, “Ohhhhh, youre speaking English!!!”  Not sure who it drove nuts more – me or the child.  The child, of course, would roll their eyes, get terribly embarrassed, and never open their mouth (in English) again while they were there.  Parents, on the other hand, would not.  Why?  I asked them to please not do that.  It hinders the overall process of learning to speak another language.  “Talk to them normally,” I asked.  They would – except for one really old grandmother who came by who spoke to everyone younger than her that way all the time.

Convocation 2018

It’s done!

I spent 3 years at Lethbridge College in the Engineering Design and Drafting Technologies diploma program.  The Convocation ceremony lasted from 1:00~4:00pm.  About 12:00 inside the “Player’s Entrance” (the back door) of Enmax Centre we gathered into groups according to program and then alphabetically.  People soon dissipated – it was obviously going to take a while.  I texted the scoreboard a picture of Mom & me and a message in case they came.  They came, but they didn’t see it.

Thanks Mom and Floyd for everything!!!  Could not have done it without you!!!

Pending application and approval, I’ll be a Technologist in Training (T.T.).  After two years of working in the field, I’ll earn my C. Tech (Certified Technologist) or C.E.T. (Certified Engineering Technologist).