December Learner of the Month – Darcy

At Good Learning Anywhere and Sioux Hudson Literacy Council, we take a lot of pride in announcing our learners of the month.  It’s never an easy decision but for the month of December, Darcy made it much easier for us.

As an online practitioner I had the great fortune to meet Darcy online in several live classes from our Self-Management/Self-Direction series.  From Day 1, Darcy was actively engaged in the class demonstrating a lot of participation.  She always had a positive spin on things and her attendance was fantastic.  As a practitioner, it was always comforting to see when Darcy logged in to class and was ready to learn.  I knew how important these classes were to her and that her energy would be contagious for the class.

I also had the great fortune to meet Darcy in person, along with several other learners, at Haldimand-Norfolk Literacy Council in Dunnville, Ontario back in December 2010.  I was invited to participate in their Volunteer and Skills Development Training celebration and hand out some certificates to the learners.  It was a very special moment to put a voice to a face and then hear how we are making in impact in their lives.  Here is an article on how grateful the learners are to HNLC – Students Thank Literacy Council for Transforming Their Lives.

Unknown to Darcy, I had a special award for her: December Learner of the Month.  I usually don’t get nervous speaking in front of others but this time I did.  I wasn’t sure if I would be embarrassing Darcy in front of others or making her feel awkward in any way.  My intent was to celebrate her success and share her story with others.  At the end of the celebration, I asked Darcy if she would be interested in sharing a little more about her online learning experience with other learners and professionals in the literacy field.  In her words, here is what she had to say:

When I enrolled in the Volunteer Development Training Program, I had absolutely ‘no’ idea of what it was that I would really be getting into. There were a number of other individuals who took part in this program and we all had a lot to offer and a lot to learn from each other.

What I learned most (and I guess it was something I had forgotten that I already knew) is this: Anything I chose to do is a commitment that I am making with myself.  It was rewarding for me to give myself the time to get out of the house, meet some new people and to “complete’ something.  Respect and confidentiality were right up there on the list too.

Twelve weeks sounds like a bigger number than 3 months; so, I’ll say it took three months to ’rebuild’ with totally wonderful people.

I had three days per week that I had committed to myself to attend a volunteer Placement (Salvation Army-Food Bank), a personal interest online course Introduction to Aviation and the actual (Volunteer Development Training Program) online courses :  Introduction to Online e-learning, Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem, Time Management,  Communications, and Decision Making.  Also we were instructed in WHIMIS, Safe Heavy Lifting, Customer Service, Conflict Resolution Skills, and a fun time doing Personality Dimensions.

Let me tell you that if you think that we are not affected by just a person’s voice, WE ARE.

I found myself needing to hear those voices of the instructors.  It’s about upbeat, positive people who are delivering information to you because they either love the topic or because they really want to be a part of your successes.

For a while I felt like I was running around in circles and why am I doing this…?

Then it was coming to a close and I reflected on my past involvement with a Community Theatre and how a bunch of people would audition for roles in the play, others would work toward building the set and finding props, others would work on scheduling rehearsals, ticket sales, publicity and then it would be over in about the same amount of time (3 months) from beginning to end of production.

This was sort of a behind the scenes way to get back with the “living”; getting out there and just being and doing.

I received a Diploma from the Volunteer Development Training Program, Certificates for completing the online courses and that was it.  I did it!  I completed a three month program, met a lot of great people and now it is over, or is it?

I also met with an e-Learning coordinator who researched some of my interests and found a college Course (online) that under my circumstances (living in a small town, no colleges, and no vehicle) I can still obtain an Education.  How exciting is that?!!!!  Very!!  Thanks everyone.

I’d say may experience with e-Learning has been a positive one.  It is a commitment to yourself and you’re worth it!

The people who I admire, respect and confide in are my support in any endeavour I chose. They know who they are.

On behalf of Sioux Hudson Literacy Council and Good Learning Anywhere, we congratulate Darcy and wish her all the best with her future goals.  If you ever need anything Darcy, you know where to find us.