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Attitude makes a difference

Riccardo Midwinter’s

Riccardo Midwinter’s Tales of The Coach in the Classroom 9

Chapter 2: Attitude Makes a Difference Riccardo prepared for one of his first lecture assignments at a high school. The email that Harriet, the English teacher, had sent him set out the purpose of the lecture as providing the students support in giving presentations, in English. She had asked Riccardo to talk about 'Criteria for Effective Presentations' or 'Essential Presentation Skills'. Riccardo was prepared to give a talk. He was also willing to give a presentation and receive feedback from the students according to the predetermined criteria. He was prepared to do that, or to be guided by whatever questions or issues that surfaced from the students during the lecture. Riccardo made his way to the high school by public transport as usual. The teacher, Harriet, met Riccardo at the staff room where she offered him a cup of coffee. Harriet was a tall woman of about thirty years, with long blonde hair that hung over her fresh, wild face. Her narrow amber eyes, set lightly within their sockets, scanned endlessly over Riccardo’s face. As Harriet walked Riccardo to the classroom, her flawless navy blue skirt catching the breeze as she moves, she shared with him her concerns about her students’ unwillingness to give presentations to the rest of the class. Her voice betrayed a sense of submission, "This school is located in an area that has a high proportion of families with one or both parents unemployed, you know. Everyone knows that teenagers who leave this school after their compulsory education, go directly into unemployment, where they remain until they move away from the family home into subsidized housing and start families of their own. The school has a reputation for having poorly motivated students who obtain few passing grades and receive low grades in the core subjects." Riccardo smiled and waited. 59

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