About Me

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Nashville, TN, United States
My name is McLean Smith and I am an observer of life. I like to create music, capture experiences, and refine expression through my observations. To me, music is a feeling. It is something that captivates one in the moment and releases reactions unknown. It is something I wish to create for the rest of my life. It is something I hope to share with the world.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Service Learning Visit #3 (Hours 5 and 6)

The following Tuesday, I came back to the Cohn Center to tutor another individual. I no longer felt nervous about tutoring students because I had developed a system that produced successful results. I reviewed the lesson plan for my new student and organized the provided learning materials in a streamline manner. Shortly afterwards, my new student arrived and we began our lesson (her name will be Abby).

Our lesson started with a discussion regarding our work experience. Abby told me about her previous jobs in her native country and her position at one of the embassy consulates in Nashville. At the consulate, she collects data for regulatory agencies and tries to create relationships with new immigrants. While I could tell that she was an intelligent woman, Abby had some difficulty completing her sentences due to her lack of English vocabulary.

In the first hour, I tried to teach Abby words relating to work experience (i.e. resume, internship, manager, et cetera). Abby struggled to understand and pronounce each word, so we repeated the exercise until she learned the material. During our repetitions, I could see that Abby was becoming a little frustrated, and I decided a break might be helpful.

I walked in the hallways of the school thinking I might accidentally brainstorm new approaches, but I returned empty-handed. Returning to the session, I set a goal to complete the lesson plan. Surprisingly, Abby improved significantly and we finished the lesson. To conclude our session, we discussed the torrential rain outside. It was a tempestuous storm and we could hear the downpour from our seats. I asked her if she had an umbrella; she smiled and replied, "No." We both laughed.

I was surprised by the differences between the two portions of our session. One might think that the break helped Abby, but the changes in Abby's proficiency were too dramatic. I supposed that teaching was an interactive activity, instead of a static plan. Thus, one could only enjoy the fruits of education if one actively participated in the process. Sometimes one might plant seeds, and other times one might harvest giant pumpkins. One can only admire growth and try to analyze it sources.

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