We had the Info Day for the PreCAL (my class) and VCAL this week. Around 40 people turned up. Parents with their children, youth on their own, teenagers with their mates and some youth with their case workers.
I was quite nervous getting up on stage to present what I had prepared. I had deliberated over the content until the early hours of the morning and even the hour before I was deleting and rearranging the content of my presentation. I did not want to be preachy, but I wanted to give a message that gave them hope. That the PreCAL Big Picture course would be just what they were looking for.
I had about 12 interviews booked after the session and in the few days afterward I have had another 5 inquiries, so it looks like we will have a full class by the time we start on Feb 15th.
Their interests appear to be quite varied at first glance and I don’t know them very well as yet. A few of them appear to have no idea what they’re interested in let alone have a passion. Similar to last year.
I have had an opportunity to talk to a few parents and their children and the need is great for them to find another way to learn. Some have commented that they have been at their wits end to find something else for their kids that will get them re-engaged back into learning.
I am confident in the Big Picture approach but I still have doubts whether I can pull it all together.
Watched an inspiring true story/movie tonight called the Freedom Writers. It was about a young female teacher who works with a class of teenagers who are divided by race and many involved in gangs. She managed to find a way to break down the barriers and they became like family. She took them on trips and bought them inspiring books and helped them to learn about each other. She fought against the system and won to keep the class together for 4 years with her as the teacher. Many Big Picture principles were on show.
Already I am finding that I will need to be strong and prepared to fight for those things that are important for the learning needs of my class.