Coming to a GED class is important and helpful in so many ways, but I will be able to discuss a few major ones.
GED class is important because it gives you the ability to be capable and ready to pass the GED test. It leads you through a process to indicate whether you are prepared for the GED.
The second important reason is it helps you learn more about what to expect for the GED and how to solve it and mostly, it makes you learn about things you forgot about when you were in school.
Lastly, some people, during their academic years in school had serious problems in mathematics and English. So, they had to attend GED class to build skills in English and mathematics. GED class gives some people the ability and opportunity to be more effective in English and mathematics.
GED class is so much important to those who were unable to get their GED when they were in high school.
Abraham is a current Project Learn student in our GEN Y Pre-GED class. He is from Liberia and has just advanced three grade levels in reading and two grade levels in math and will be advancing into our GED class this summer.
FYI: A few corrections have been made to the essay prior to its publication.
Well, I can’t say what it’s like for other people who don’t have a GED or diploma, but from my own personal view and experiences, it’s very difficult to go through life without one or the other. Nowadays, it’s very hard to even get a job that doesn’t require you to have a GED.
So, that’s one of the reasons I decided to attend “Project Learn” to get my GED. The other reason is because I want the significance of being able to achieve one of my short term goals in life. Also, being a mother of “3”, I want to show them how much potential I really have in life.
Tasha is a current Project Learn student in our GEN Y Pre-GED class. She has advanced one grade level in both reading and math and will advance to our GED class this summer.
FYI: Tasha and I worked together to make a few corrections to her essay.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about some challenging students in my GEN Y GED class. I’d had a few rough classes and sometimes that just gets discouraging. One student in particular wouldn’t even participate. His first day, I was kind of perplexed. I wasn’t sure if he didn’t understand what we were going over or whether he was just having a bad day. I sat down to talk to him, but he wouldn’t even look at me when I talking. While I don’t have any, I felt like I was speaking to one of my children. There were a couple more incidents, but ultimately I decided just to let him come over on his own. I mean he always came to class; he just didn’t do anything. He had to be coming for some reason. It definitely wasn’t my jokes. Really, I get my sense of humor from dad. And he’s not that funny.
However, on Thursday, everything changed. He participated in class and when some of my students were giving me a rough time about a particular activity, he actually stood up for me. He worked through the entire lesson and even worked through my students’ one break. He worked on fractions the whole time and kept grinning every time I graded a couple of the problems he’d finished. I think this was the first time I saw an unsecreted smile, let alone 5 or 6 in succession. He even wrote his essay! Maybe he was simply having a good day. I just hope he keeps having more like it. Wish more classes could be like this. Man, I had to stop myself from hugging him…but that would’ve been just awkward.
A few weeks ago, one of my ESOL students asked if we could take a trip to the Akron Art Museum. Now, since we don’t have buses, I am sometimes nervous about going on field trips (Plus, perhaps insanely, if I drive, I worry about being liable), but since the museum’s just across the street, in this regard, it couldn’t be in a better location. The problem then became all about money. As you probably understand, not all of Project Learn’s students can afford to pay the $7 entrance fee, and since I don’t have a degree in Art History and skipped a few too many class in Intro to Humanities, I figured we’d probably need a tour guide to make the trip worthwhile and educational. But this would only add to the amount my students would have to pay. But luckily, the museum offered to provide students, staff, and volunteers with a free tour and admission.
All in all, the trip turned out to be a great success. Eleven of us (ESOL and GEN Y students, one volunteer, and I) attended, and one of my GEN Y students even brought a friend and her family. The guide was great, and I think that everyone who attended it enjoyed it. My ESOL students got to practice their English, and my GEN Y students learned quite a bit about Art History. I’d like to thank the Art Museum staff for their generosity and services they provide to the community and for all the help you’ve given our students.
Honestly, I’ve been rather fortunate. Almost all my students in my GEN Y GED class (basically always in my ESOL class) participate in class without question. And if they’re reticent at the beginning, I usually win them over quickly or wear them down with constant “highly-suggested volunteering”. But what do you do with a student who just refuses to participate? Not just refusing to participate in classroom discussion but refusing to do anything at all. Not even work on his or her own. Just sitting there for 2 and a half hours, starring into space. (Could you think of anything more boring?) That’s really frustrating. Most of the time the student doesn’t even acknowledge you when you try to find out what’s wrong and stares out in the distance as if you’re not even speaking to them. Now, I talk to myself as much as the next person (you all talk to yourself, right?) but in the classroom, that can get to be quite infuriating.
You start wondering, “Why are you coming?” Especially when he or she hasn’t missed a single day of class since he or she started. Questions run through your mind–Does he or she not understand the lesson? Problems at home? Is he or she court ordered? Does he or she need a letter to get benefits from Job and Family Services? These things pop in your head when you’re trying to talk to someone who won’t even look you in your face.
However, it’s that one day when they finally start participating, even if they participate for only one day and then the big evil attitude comes right back, or when you make a joke and class and you see them suppress a laugh, that reminds you the reason you’re teaching and gives you added incentive to help the person. At least that keeps me going. There’s a lot of frustration but the little moments and the possibility for change continually encourage me. To be honest, I don’t think I can ever fully believe I can’t make an impact on every student who comes to my class. I hope I never get to the point where I can give up on somebody.
So, beginning in February, I began teacher a GEN Y (Generation Y) Pre-GED class. Over the past couple of years we’ve noticed that one of the largest growing groups of students has been those between the ages of 16-26. These were also the students who dropped out of the program the quickest before getting their GED. Therefore, to better serve these students, we created a class that would focus on their interests and learning styles.
Needless to say, the road hasn’t been the easiest. We tried starting it last fall but scheduled it in the afternoon and had a hard time recruiting students. If you compound the fact that all the students that we did recruit were multiple appointment missers, you have a perfect recipe for a poorly attended class. Once we changed the time to Tuesday and Thursday mornings, the attendance has gotten a lot better.
While there are some snags working with this age group–my students definitely have their angsty days (more to come on this later)–the class has given me the opportunity to really interact and get to know my students in a way that the language and time culture barrier prohibits me from interacting with some of my ESOL students. My GEN Y class has also given me another avenue from which to help make the sort of impact I want to in our country, working with a different set of underprivileged individuals.
Anyway, even though there have been a few snags along the way, our experiment is turning out to be well attended and in the end, I hope, successful for my students. They seem to be enjoying it.