While walking into the Cohn Adult Learning Center, I felt nervous and uncomfortable. I had not mastered the techniques taught in the training session and, as a result, I feared that I would be a horrible tutor. Even with these apprehensions, I decided to make my way to the learning center on the third floor.
My early arrival allowed me to read over the lesson plan before my student arrived at the learning center. As I finished my reading, my student arrived and we started our session (his name will be Nate). We first discussed our respective heritages, hobbies, and daily life. Nate told me about his fascination with soccer and his journey from Japan to work at the Bridgestone factory in Clarksville.
In the first hour, I tried to teach Nate words relating to preparation (e.g. ready, clean-shaven, organization, et cetera). Nate was a brilliant individual, but he had some slight problems with pronunciation. After some attempts to aid his enunciation, I decided to instruct Nate to watch my mouth (in particular, my lips and tongue) and imitate my movements. His pronunciation improved and we took a short break.
During the second hour, we continued to complete the lesson plan. We started with a picture and described its settings and characters using the terms we had studied earlier. Nate finished the exercise and cruised through the remainder of the lesson. Ending early, I asked Nate if he had any questions about American culture. He asked me if I could help his voice inflection while asking questions. I told him to raise the pitch of his voice towards the end of his questions. We proceeded to practice. After several recitations, Nate enhanced his phrasing tremendously.
I assigned Nate some vocabulary terms to study for his next session and we concluded our session. He shook my hand and flashed a wonderful smile. I sat back down at my desk and filled out the paper work in the tutor folder. As I left the learning center, I felt a warming satisfaction. I realized that my earlier fears were unjustified, and that I could make an small impact on illiteracy in Nashville.