Thursday, May 6, 2010

Grampa loves Toe Dippers - Ya gotta!

As a Community Education Instructor in computer skills, I've experienced more than my share of Toe Dippers!

What's a Toe Dipper in your opinion?

To me, in a class setting, a Toe Dipper is someone who pays the tuition, even attends and stays after to visit, but who courteously may not pay attention and certainly doesn't do the work!  Sad! Reminds me of the student who went through the University, but didn't let the University go through him.  He paid his tuition, but left without getting what he paid for.

The only way to really master computer skills is to imitate the great concert pianists and practice, practice, practice.  (That's the way to get to Carnegie Hall, they say.)

This year I made a good friend who turned out to be a Toe Dipper.  In a community education experience all you can do is pass on knowledge, truth and noble sentiments.  There are no grades, no real attendance--no controls or active sanctions. 

If someone comes to class to smile wanly at your jokes, be entertained and fellowshipped and pick up a few useful conversation points--there's not a lot you can do.  Like a wise father or Gramfather you can suggest assignments as skill builders--even follow up with e-mails, but pushing too hard even nagging only drives toe dippers away.   Once they're gone there's no chance to inspire them to pick up the mouse and go to work.

Gramkids who just want to play computer games all day or sleep past noon may seem like toe dippers to you, but they're filled with potential that only you can develop.   Toe Dippers can be inspired to be Enthusiastic Divers.  Patience, experimentation with methods  and lots of love go a long way to helping Toe Dippers to UP their attitudes.  JRH

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