Class of 2013-14, an outline

A short reflection of the Certificate II in Hospitality course I facilitated recently.

I was really excited to have a full class and get into doing what I love, training others in a fantastic industry.

“Careful what you wish for.”

On orientation day we had 18 enrolments, all of them unemployed, some long term, some short term and some had never had a job. We explained the requirements of the course and filled in the paperwork. There were blank eyes, red eyes, wild eyes all looking back at me. Most of these people had to be here, they were just going through the motions in order to continue getting Centrelink payments. We had one late starter, taking the total number of enrolments to 19.

We begin all of our courses with Prepare for Study, this helps our learners to Learn to Learn, Get Tech Savvy, Get Study Smart and Reflect on their learning. We deliver this in our moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment).

On the first day of class I had some eager beavers all ready to start, it went reasonably well, they were required to log into the moodle once we had passwords set up and access things didn’t go too badly. Not everyone turned up, but we expected that.

The second day was awful, the students were late for class, disruptive, and I generally had trouble controlling their behaviour, and they seem to have no respect to others or myself. I walked into the EO’s office at the end of the day swearing and frustrated, she asked me if I was going to be able to cope? Bang head here I was unsure. What I did know is there was no way I was taking this lot offsite, alone, to a local bar where I had intended to deliver this course.

This was going to be tricky, I looked to Malcolm Knowles Adult Learning Principles  and out of the six I could only relate to one of them at this time  Adults are goal oriented the goal, get my name marked off the attendance list and continue to get paid.

After about a month I had a core group of 10 who attended class. They ranged in age from 17 to 37, and they all had dealt with their own shit in one way or another. LL&N  issues were a major problem, this was only Certificate II, so I didn’t care if they could spell it, as long as they could explain it.  My mission, engage them.

I flipped the classroom so they could do their assessments in class time. I encouraged them to use Facebook to contact each other. I allowed many cigarette breaks when attention was waning, I allowed time for general chit chat and eventually I earned their respect by not taking their crap.

There were many interesting conversations and comments, far too many to fit into one blog post. Have a look at Shit Happens for some of these.

Out of the 10, one got herself a job before it finished, the two most disruptive dropped in and out (eventually out, the others wereThank you relieved) and I have issued 6 certificates, and will issue the last one when practical placement is completed.

The most rewarding part was my card and bottle of Black Douglas scotch which they all put in for and presented to me. It touched my heart to know that they appreciated me and how much I had gone through with them to reach this point.



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