Greetings! Because of the Coronavirus, we have been considering how to handle TNKR activities going forward. We have been monitoring internally how many classes would be canceled without us intervening, checking to see how things were going with the virus and observing how other organizations are handling things.
These seem to be the main three options for TNKR tutors and refugee learners:
* Take a break! With no clear end in sight as related to this virus, yes, take a break. We don't want anyone feeling pressured to have face-to-face tutoring sessions. We are heartened that so many volunteers, even in the middle of a potential health crisis, are still making themselves available for tutoring. We want to be clear that we welcome tutors and refugee learners taking a break until the coast seems clear.
* Continue. If two brave people want to continue meeting, we won’t try to block it, we will leave that to your own discretion (yes, bring sanitizers and wear masks during classes). We do hope everyone will consider either taking a break or having online classes if either party (tutor or refugee learner) expresses any concerns. Of course, keep following government updates, of which there are sure to be many in the future.
* Help us in creating an online option: Before this virus began wreaking havoc, TNKR was already having a discussion internally about adding online tutoring to our activities. We have tried online tutoring before in 2014, 2016, and 2018, but the results have been disappointing. Apparently we will continue trying this every other year until we get it right. 😊
We are now a stronger organization thanks to more financial support from volunteers and fans (thanks to those of you who donated or set up fundraisers!!!), our academic team led by Academic Coordinator Janice Kim, Volunteer Adviser Dan Cashmar, and newcomer India Meyers is working together so well, and we seem to be attracting more volunteers buying into our process (resulting in us wasting less time chasing and reminding volunteers not to use Korean, not to get too social or interview refugees, eliminating playboys, etc.).
These three improvements mean that we can expand our programming. We have already started Track 3, are hoping to find a good way to implement online classes, and have been planning to relaunch tutoring at our office for beginners and refugees on our waiting list.
If you would like to engage in online classes:
1) Notify us.
2) Eunkoo will be forming Skype groups with refugees who want online tutoring.
3) We will then add their tutors to each group.
We will continue to expect tutoring reports, professionalism, and our process of putting refugees at the center of our education activities. So please help us in creating quality online classes. Some refugee learners will probably be enthusiastic about this, and that's great, but we don't want others to feel pushed into it!