July 14, 2007

Maybe it’s not that safe . . .

Posted in Uncategorized at 1: 32 pm by MK

I thought the neighborhood was safe…and it is, for the most part. I attempted to stop by their apartment last night but it didn’t quite work out. Maybe I just have my parents voices ingrained in the back of my mind: listen to your gut, don’t take any chances. I meant to go right after work, but ended up not getting there until around 8 p.m. When I did a situation on the street made me really uncomfortable, and so I chose to leave. Driving away I felt mad at myself, mad at the situation, worried about my new friends, and really disappointed.

However, I did go back today on my lunch hour. The street is fine during the day, which made me feel better. I just need to plan my visits for during the day or early evening and I’ll be fine. Great for me, right? Talk about feeling guilty. My new friends who live there can’t get in their car and drive away when they feel uncomfortable. How do you balance this?

The dad let me in today and when we got upstairs to the apartment everyone was sound asleep. I’m sure jet lag and sheer exhaustion from the experience is taking its toll. Dad speaks absolutely no English. But that didn’t stop me from trying to explain, “Today is Friday. Then there is Saturday. Then Sunday. I’ll be back on Monday.” He smiled and shook his head, but I don’t think he knows I’m coming Monday. I left a note with him; hopefully his USCRI case worker will translate it for him. Otherwise, he’ll have a surprise on Monday when I show up.

The Gameplan (or at least some initial ideas):

This isn’t about teaching the alphabet and nouns and verbs. This is about teaching survival. First purchase for them will be a wall calendar so they can learn the days of the week and the months. Then hopefully I can set up a weekly schedule for my visits, so the surprises don’t have to keep happening. Then I’m literally going to start with things in their apartment, i.e. their telephone. Do they know how to call 911? Do they know what 911 is? Like I said, it’s about survival at the moment.

Okay, so you all know (if it’s not abundantly clear) I am a novice at this. If anyone has suggestions and/or ideas I would absolutely love to hear them! The intent of this blog is not just for me to ramble on, but to talk about English tutoring in an environment where I can hopefully get some good feedback. I welcome everyone’s ideas.

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1 Comment »

  1. Elizabeth said,

    I think you were right to listen to your gut when you felt you shouldn’t be attempting your evening visit. I have no experience in teaching english at all, but my advice would be to listen to your gut for ideas with your tutoring as well.


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