iNsane iCare

So, when I start volunteering with the YWCA I will be working with their newly implemented database system, called iCare. Katherine, the program director, told me she wanted me to go through the tutorials offered by the company and learn a bit about the software.

And, frankly, I can’t decide whether the program is really complicated. Or if the Indian man explaining everything in the tutorials makes it seem complicated. I have the urge to write them an email outlining how they need to go about using these tutorial videos.

For instance:

  • One of the most important things a company looks for in an employee who interacts with the public is the ability to speak clearly. This man can barely pronounce the simplest of words and tends to run everything together.
  • His explanations are completely disjointed. Instead of starting at the beginning he jumps around the program, hardly ever explaining what it is that he is doing.
  • He moves way too quickly. He never spends more than a few seconds on a topic. And when he actually does show you what to do on the screen, he moves through it like crazy.
  • He stops in the middle of sentences frequently. And when he starts back up it tends to be in a different place all together.
  • I left each tutorial completely unsure of whether or not I actually knew what I had learned.

The program itself looks like a combination of Excel and the program I used to use at work called SMB Pro. So nothing too alien to me. I just really hope that it’s as user friendly as they claim that it is.

Judging by the videos and the man they chose to be their representative…I’m not overly positive of the outcome.

But! The key here is to stay confident and positive. I’m sure that I can learn everything pretty quickly.

This should be a good starter “job” for me. One of the main things that kept me at my previous job for so long, aside from the money, was the fact that I knew what I was doing. I was familiar with my surroundings, my employees, my expectations, my daily activities. I had the same schedule every week, for the most part. It got boring, yes. But there was a level of comfort that was nice to have.

Starting all over is a little scary. A little stressful. A little nerve-racking.

I’m hoping that starting off with something like a volunteer position will help me get used to the idea of having to learn new things and start at the bottom of the work food chain.

So, here’s to all that. And..,I might just write that email up now…iCare clearly needs someone to tell them they’re doing it wrong.

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Lesson Planning Problems

In my attempt to start up a side business tutoring high schoolers, I’ve realized that I need a good lesson plan to get started. All people learn differently. Some are good with just reading the material and taking notes. Some need a more active approach actually working on problems themselves. Some need visual aids. And some people need a combination of all those things.
I have a plan in place for teaching SAT students. It’s mostly a matter of them getting a practice book. I have the student take a test and write a timed essay before we meet. Then I go over it and pinpoint the places they need the most work. From there I can implement lectures, practice problems, and physical examples to make my lesson clear. If they can’t get their own practice book I know the internet is teeming with SAT prep materials.
But when students need help with more basic things, like grammar, it becomes a little more difficult. I’ve tried to find some templates online, but it’s a little dry from what I can tell.
I guess I can use their homework. Probably find worksheets online. Vocabulary shouldn’t be too difficult. We can make flash cards. Word Finds and crossword puzzles are always fun. Maybe I can come up with vocabulary games or something. I want to make learning as interesting as possible. I realize that a lot of the problem that people have with English is that they think it is boring. People tend to feel that other people will understand them, regardless of whether they use proper English or not so why bother. And that’s…just sad to me. I love words and have minor break downs any time a person uses our language incorrectly. It seriously grates on my nerves. I just really want to show kids that words are fun and interesting and can provide a wealth of opportunity if you use them properly.
I think I may just have to cross that bridge when I get to it. Granted, I haven’t even gotten any jobs. So it seems a little silly to worry too much about it now. I would just prefer to be prepared for whatever may come my way.
If any readers out there happen to have any teaching resources they are willing to share, I would appreciate the help!