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" This time about 50% of the class raised their hands. Obviously their definition of the word agreement was homegrown.
Day four: About five in each class didn't do their homework. I had them choose study partners and they exchanged phone numbers and times to call each other (much the same as with my Support Groups). It's not a leadership-skill that's taught to education majors at the university level; I was fortunate to have been exposed to many different leadership-support skills during my tours in the to communicate. They say they will drop out of the university if we don't let them transfer to another Instructor.
They agreed to each be responsible for the other doing the homework. I glibly answered what I took to be a rhetorical question; "I'm teaching students how to communicate." They looked at each other and almost in unison said, "No, no, no! Your job is to 'introduce' them to the subject of communication and teach them 'about the communication process.'" My jaw dropped. We need their tuitions." I mumbled something about one of the agreements the students made on the first dayto communicate any upsets with me firstand, that I wished the Dean had asked them, "Have you talked to Mr. " I knew from their comments, and the fact that I wanted to be right and make them wrong, that it was hopeless.
I had thousands of first-person experiences about the communication skills needed to succeed in the cultural melting-pot of the Pacific Basin. I knew from personal experience that effective leaders, myself included, need constant daily support in telling the truth (honoring their wordkeeping agreements, creating agreements that work, and restoring and maintaining their integrity (verbally acknowledging procrastinations and perpetrations, especially verbal and non-verbal abuses). I have a fresh haircut, an ironed aloha shirt, and word-processed outlines. I'm on schedule with my 50-minute class and I've left a generous 5 minutes to assign the homework.
They leave in good spirits and my next identical class comes in. Like the others they are mostly freshman from the Big Island of Hawaii's high schools.
For the remainder of the class I had them do small-group work on a subject I took from the first chapter, the foundation for the remainder of the course.
Again I allowed ten minutes to assign the homework. Day three: I begin with, "Is there anyone who didn't do the homework?
(no fee) with the following acknowledgment, "Contributed by Kerrith H. It was also a time of awesome struggle in my second marriage; coincidentally, the Sp-Com Professors were communicating much the same as my ex and I.
Students reported on their Instructor Evaluation Form that they thought they learned more with me than with other faculty members.
I immediately noticed that the majority had not read the first chapter. I had lapsed into doing my imitation of communication; obviously, I had not communicated that I meant for them to do the homework.
And, none had raised their hand (per a class agreement) to say so. So, I modified my outline, cut short the discussion groups, and allowed myself 10 minutes to assign the homework. They reaffirmed their commitment to the Class Agreements, one of which was to do the homework. As soon as the second class was seated I asked, "Raise your hand if you did the homework? I acknowledged those that did and those that didn't.