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Theo: Asking Is Easy

By Theo Twidwell, AmeriCorps Promise Fellow serving at Breakthrough Twin Cities

“Since day one, I have been working with a student regarding his fear of asking questions in class. He is an ELL student, and while his communication skills are great, he is still growing in his ability to read and to identify his own emotions.

We sat down during our fourth meeting and I brought with me an emotions worksheet. We spent the thirty minutes we have together coloring each emotion on the worksheet a different color, and explaining what each emotion means. On our next meeting, a week later, I asked him to identify on the sheet how asking questions in class made him feel. He was able to point to “embarrassed.”

With this information, I was able to structure our further meetings around making him understand why he shouldn’t feel embarrassed to ask questions during class. I challenged him in our sixth week to ask a question, and when I came back for our next meeting, he had.

This student now consistently says that asking questions in class is easy.”

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