Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Young people

A week or so ago, I was an interview judge in the Regional Wisconsin Academic Decathlon which was held here in Rice Lake.  It was my second year of judging and I really enjoyed it once again.
My partner this year was someone I had never met, we got along fine during our scoring sessions and rated the kids quite close in each criteria.  It's a great volunteer opportunity as it only takes the morning and meeting & hearing the kids answer the interview questions is a learning experience for me.  Of course the kids are savvy regarding social networking and pop culture, but some are also very interested in history and philosophy.   I am already looking forward to next year.

I might have mentioned my tutoring relationship with a young man through the Barron County Literacy Council.  I have been meeting with my student for a couple of years.  He is a 20 year old with some learning weaknesses and reading at about the 2nd grade level.
Weekly sessions of one hour were spent on a workbook designed for this type of tutoring.  Keeping these appointments was always a struggle for my student and his mother.  This past week, I was stood up again, and, unfortunately, that was the last straw for me.
I have notified my students mother that I am discontinuing working with her son as a result of the attendance unreliability.
It was not a decision I made lightly and I counseled with the Volunteer Coordinator for the Literacy Council before making my final determination.
I'm going to take a break from tutoring, but hopefully in the Spring, I will be matched with a new student who is a bit more motivated and reliable.
I enjoyed my sessions with my student, but since there was no followup at home, it was a little like taking piano lessons and never, ever practicing.  Any improvement is very very slow.

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