During last Saturday’s workshop, I was sitting on the stack of chairs pushed to the side of the room relaxing. This was really odd, since normally during a workshop, especially one that takes place at the computer lab, I would be pulled in every direction, trying to answer the 10 questions that are hurtled at me at each second.
Teaching people how to blog and post photos to the web is not as easy as you might think. Finding the address bar of Internet Explorer was sometimes a five-minute task, so just imagine how long it used to take my students to simply sign into their blog. The first sessions were sometimes painful, but also so rewarding once I saw the students beginning to remember how to do things without me having to give any hints. The questions began to reduce in number and soon, other students began stepping in to answer those that remained.
Some students have made so much progress that they are now taking over for me. I selected Martin and Joseph, two members of USK Street Children and Youth Associations, to work with me on a full-time basis so that I can start phasing myself out. I want my departure in November to be as seamless as possible so from 9-5, five days a week, I am emptying my brain to these two motivated young men, so they can lead the project once I am back home.
Their first test was Saturday the 20th, the first workshop since mid-August. The whole week prior, Joseph and Martin were learning the skills to be taught so that they were able to demonstrate them and answer questions from the other students. During this class, I still provided the structure, but Martin and Joseph were doing much of the teaching, with me stepping in only to make additions or clarifications. They took their role seriously and soon the other students were calling them Teacher as well. Each class since then has been an improvement, with them stepping up more and more.
Martin showing students how to make folders on the desktop to organize their photos.
As I was sitting in the background during that first session back, observing the new teachers in action, I had a smile on my face. This was not just due to a reduction in my stress level, which probably played a part, but due more to the realization that this project is starting to slip out of my hands and fall into the hands of the youth themselves. And that is exactly where it is meant to be.
Posted By Kristina Rosinsky
Posted Oct 9th, 2008