Wednesday, July 1, 2009

She's Slow and She Always Will Be: The Transformation of One South African XO User

One girl from Mmaweshi named Monica has really impressed me this year. Last year we worked very diligently with every student on an individual basis to make sure that they would completely understand how to use the laptop before our three weeks were over. There were a few students who had a very hard time learning to use the laptop and were way behind the rest of the class. It seemed like no matter how hard we tried these few students just didn’t get it. At first we thought it was a translation issue so we asked the teachers to help translate the directions we were giving. This girl Monica was one of these students. When I asked for one of the teachers to help me translate for her, the teacher responded by telling me not to waste my time on her because she has always been slow and always will be. I was completely shocked and didn’t know how to respond. I felt bad and refused to give up on her. By the time we left, she was better but still not up to the average level of the other students.

Less then one year later I'm sitting in the winter camp when Sara, the principal of Mmaweshi, calls me over to Monica’s laptop. She says “Caro, you must look at this one!” I look at the screen to see that Monica has drawn different shapes all over the screen and filled them in with different colors and written something about herself in each one. I immediately thought back to last year and was so excited that the student that the teachers were willing to give up on had improved so much in just ten months. Monica is not the only one who has improved though. Every student has learned new things on their own and improved greatly. After working on a program for just one day, the entire class at Driehoek knew how to do it the next day without asking a single question. Three days into the winter camp I’m already so excited by how much these kids have learned.

1 comment:

  1. Carolyn,

    As a teacher, I can't tell you how proud I am of what you did! Persistence is so very important for a teacher. Every child has the potential to learn. Keep up the good work!

    Uncle Grg