Feb 6, 2012

behind Bars - English lessons for inmates part 5

Lesson five
A good day - an excellent day! It felt almost like our first proper lesson. We still had the noisy room but we knew so from the start, so we built it into our set of expectations. Also, most students were able to leave their cells and get to class within 10 minutes and it began to feel like we were a group at last - today there is a definite sense of team spirit.
It'll probably take another few lessons to see who we have and if anyone has dropped out, but we seem to have a core of 10 or 12 students.
There are lots of different kinds of teaching, but very often lessons where there is energy fit the bill. I think there might be some sort of equation -- if we look at last lesson, no matter how much energy I tried to emit, it all seemed to be sucked up and dispersed into the air, with very little energy coming back. In contrast, this lesson the energy equation reversed -- every unit of energy I gave seemed to trigger even more units of energy in return.
There seem to be E factors: environment is one E factor, engagement is another. Negative environments and low engagement equals low energy or possibly negative energy. Experience (and probably) expertise and enthusiasm are other E factors. Enthusiasm is a must, and experience and expertise can smooth the way to engagement, facilitating a highly flow of Energy. Anyway, I'll think about this more.
As much as possible I want these lessons to be in a whole-group format -- there will be pair work but that will be relatively limited - at least at present. I have received authorisation to distribute books, which has really pleased everyone. They all seem very serious about the course and getting the best out of it - two lessons a week now and the chance to read and revise between lessons should really give everything a boost.

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