You’re never too old to feel good about yourself.
Passing the GED test has so many good outcomes. Yes, you most likely will make $5 more per hour which equals $10,000 more per year if you work full time.
But money aside, if you pass the GED test you become an inspiration to your children and your family.
Let’s say you’re my friend Miguel who’s 29, married, and has 2 kids. If and when he passes his GED test, he will be an inspiration to his entire family.
So remember, you’re never too old to pass the GED test and inspire your family.
But Richard, I’m so old I’ve forgotten everything I learned.
I was saddened when a reader commented in that fashion. If you feel something, real or imagined, it’s real.
Believe me, I can sympathize on being a “little” old.
I’ll be sixty years old in April, 2011. So I can relate a bit to a reader that says he’s forgotten everything he ever needed to pass the GED test.
Memory, Learning, and Belief
I’m not a psychologist and don’t pretend being one. But I have taught 10,000 adults how to use computers and I’ve helped a lot of people learn computers in the classroom. Here are some of my thoughts.
- Memory – Seems like it’s a bit harder remembering things as I approach 60. I don’t know if it’s really my memory or all the darn stories and jokes I’ve heard about people in their sixties. Let’s take Abraham Lincoln for example. I know tons of stories about him but I can’t even remember the names of his 4 sons. Why not? It wasn’t important to me at the time. If I wanted to memorize all the names of Lincoln’s close relatives, it wouldn’t be a problem. It’s just a question of focused memory. I think my reader who has trouble remembering things has to focus on the areas that need to be remembered. If you need to learn the math facts for Geometry, do it. If you’re rusty with sentence structure, do it. I do believe this: if you don’t actively try to recall facts or figures, you will lose those memories.
- Learning – OK, so maybe you’ve forgotten parts of your high school education and need to re-learn it. Why is learning hard for adults? All I can tell you is what I learned about adult learning when I taught adults how to use computers. Adults learn much better when they leave their past failures behind them “at the door”. Come to every class without your burdens. What are burdens? “I’ve always been bad at math. I never had any good teachers in high school. I’ve always been a poor student.” With humor and kindness, I would prove to my older computer students that they could learn things and have fun. And when they left their educational baggage “at the door”, they learned even more from me.
- Belief – I think I can help people flex and improve their memories in the classroom. If they are not physically ill, I can help them sharpen their memories. Learning? A good to great teacher will definitely help you learn more efficiently, study for the GED, and pass the GED. Sadly, poor teachers can barely help themselves, much less help others learn. It’s our behavior changes that are the toughest. The toughest problem for both teacher and student is belief. The really great teachers believe they can help anyone in the classroom. And the best students are the ones who believe they will accomplish their goals: like passing the GED test. If you believe you can do something, you have a better chance of success than if you don’t believe. But belief means nothing without the effort to match the belief.
Is this too preachy? Maybe. But all I know is that this was my simple philosophy that helped me teach 10,000 adults, of all ethnic backgrounds, of all ages, dropouts to doctors, how to use computers. My belief in my students, their belief in themselves, helped them learn computers.
70 Year Old Grandmother Learns Computers
This is a true story from about 25 years ago when I did workforce training for the underskilled and unemployed in Des Plaines, IL. I was the 35 year old teacher, working with a 70 year old grandmother, trying to teacher her computers.
She was a tiny Italian-American lady. She was a great typist, that’s what everyone said. But she hated computers and had lingered in the training program off and on for years. Why a 70 year old grandmother was in our program I have no idea, but there she was.
My job was to teach the underskilled how to type, and how to use a fancy word processing program called a Xerox 860 (I believe that was its name). It used diskettes that were huge, may one foot by one foot. I knew the Xerox 860 was a quirky old fashioned word processor even 30 years ago. But we had half a dozen of these horrible word processors and that’s what I was supposed to teach to people.
The white haired grandmother hated computers and enjoyed telling everyone that she hated computers. She was proud that she could not (or would not) learn computers. But I tricked her, in a good way.
We had one good personal computer. It was a Mac that actually was fairly modern and worked. Everyone wanted to get their hands on it. It was considered a privilege to use it.
So I told my Italian-American grandmother to “Leave me alone. I give up. Go play on the Mac for a while.” I said it nicely but it was the beginning of my plan. I had taken away any pressure or belief that she had about failure. I just wanted her to play on a computer, without me.
The first day I stayed as far away as I could from that Macintosh. No teacher. No chance of failure. I knew my senior student had a few people there that would help her, if needed. I watched her. She was talking to the younger students, spending time on the Mackintosh, starting to have fun. No teacher, no fear of failure.
The second day the tiny woman (I was easily a foot taller) came to my end of the room, “Mr. Kraneis, I need to show you something. I need to show you something.” I politely told her I was busy that day, but I would try to have time the next day.
The third day the little woman almost dragged me over to the Macintosh to show me what she had learned. She was so excited. My response? “So, it looks like you can learn computers after all. Great job. Now go over to the Xerox 860 and learn how to use that.” I had proven to my senior citizen that she could learn computers. She had proven it to herself, and she knew it.
Keith, you can pass the GED test, I believe it
Keith, at the ripe age of 59, I believed that I could learn how to blog with WordPress and attract visitors to this website. Believe me, that’s a younger person’s game. But I’m doing it.
And in my spare time I believed that I could lose weight. I lost 45 pounds last year on Weight Watchers.
This isn’t about me Keith, it’s about you. If you believe you cannot pass the GED test, you never will. But if you believe you can pass the GED test, you will.