Teaching is one of those things that if there was a way to have all my bills paid and just a little left over for an occasional Mac upgrade I would teach for free. The joy in teaching. Unfortunately, I do need to run a business in order to keep the lights on and have to hold back on the free classes for now. But honestly, it is something that I love to do. I love helping seniors find new ways to use computers to make their lives easier.
the joy of teaching someone and watching them discover something for the first time. While I am sure that many high school and primary school teachers see that on a daily basis (How else can you explain them working so hard for so little pay). There is a moment when someone who has been struggling with a concept gets it! It’s that moment when their eyes light up because not only do they understand but they know they can do so much more. While this is not my doing. I do take credit for creating an environment where they felt safe to make that discovery.
Training Seniors is about community not study
While many seniors attempt to learn computers like they did high school chemistry it does not work the same way. Anytime after university, our brains work differently. (Nobody can memorise everything you need to do to use a computer so why force it) So trying to teach the same way will not work. I focus on building the relationship and community so that when I say “Hey you should try an easier way to do this” my words have weight. This can only be done by building trust and communication.
No topic is off-topic
Ok, hold up … wait for it. … wait for it! When working with a senior and tech a good portion of the battle is breaking down the concept that they cannot learn the tech. Many of my students start off fighting every single step as if I was the personification of the computer. However, by building the relationship by having off-topic conversations I can discover what they’re passionate about. Once we have built that bond I can then suggest using the computer in a way that will enhance their passion projects.
That conversation about being forced to use a computer because society says they have to now become a new way of doing what they love. From there they are more open to learning how to use the computer. So off-topic conversations not only build a relationship but build a foundation for curious learning.
While I do find ways to turn any conversation back to the computer I do use the off-topic conversations as a tool.