Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Warm and Fuzzy

Students where I teach receive 800 hours of English language training for free as part of the Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program which is funded by the government. It is, however, rare for students to actually complete 800 hours, and this is so for a number of reasons.

Some move, either to another town, interstate or overseas. Some withdraw due to health or other personal issues. Some find work (which is the purpose of the whole program). Some enrol in vocational courses such as aged care or childcare at other institutions, and some are just plain lazy and don't want to work, so they either get kicked out of the program for non or poor attendance, or they quit.

Yesterday one of my students, Thomas, completed 800 hours, and in doing so he also earned his Certificate III in Spoken and Written English. The latter achievement is also a feather in my cap as his teacher. Thomas decided that he would like to bring his guitar to class on his last day and play a song for us. Great idea.

We finished the lesson early and I made a short speech and presentation to Thomas which included his laminated certificate, and a farewell card signed by all of us. Then he sang Halo which he said was written by Lionel Ritchie, but turned out to be Hello. It was a beautiful, albeit heavily accented version. A round of applause for Thomas (front left in photo) before he played the second song: a Vietnamese song which he delivered with equal intensity and aplomb. More applause followed, then handshakes and well wishes. A few photographs and then goodbye. I felt very happy and proud, but I will miss Thomas.

That was my warm and fuzzy moment for the week. Do you have anything to share?

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