My initial thoughts about the volunteering experience in my CBSL was one of a reflection on concerns I had that I shouldn't really be concerned about as I have the skills needed to get through it. So far, that’s been true as I’ve been finding it easy to help out students with their work. While I haven't encountered math as much, I've been doing anything from proofreading essays to giving facts on historical events. It's as all over the place as it was when I first started, but it's an easier, more comfortable pattern now, which is nice.
After the first few sessions though, I also got set up to read with a young boy in Grade 2 before each homework help. My biggest challenge with this is that he doesn’t always focus right away and gets off task super easily. Last week he had a bunch of halloween candy with him so he kept getting off task in going through his candy and eating it rather than reading. I wasn’t sure how to approach this, as I had no authority to take away his candy, so I simply tried to get him back into reading by asking questions like ‘do you know what this word is’ or ‘what do you think is going to happen in this story’ to try and re engage him. It worked to some extent, but last week was particularly hard so we didn't even finish one book in our half hour period.
Something that surprised me was that my fellow ecs student who was volunteering with me has decided they no longer wants to volunteer as they have gotten their twenty hours via helping out at the treaty education day. I was surprised because we made a commitment to help and they are now backing out. While it's their decision, I just felt it was a little selfish, especially because the library already struggles to find volunteers to keep up with the number of students and was likely relying on us to volunteer through the semester. It’s too bad, but I guess these things happen. We’ll see if they come back next week and if not, I’ll just continue to work hard to keep up with the students.
Overall, I feel like this experience is really meaningful in that I’m helping struggling students learn how to perform better in class and I’m excited to continue on with it. Every week presents a new challenge and reflection opportunity and I really believe this is helping me on my path to an educator.
Three Things I Learned
Three Things I Learned
Hello! Hope everyone had a relaxing weekend spending time with their loved ones and thinking about the things their thankful for! I'd like to quickly shout out my amazing family for supporting me! Although I wasn't able to spend this time with you all, know that I'm thinking of you even in SK! Love you fam <3
Three Things I Learned
My volunteer experience is taking place at the Glen Elm Library Branch, where I provide homework help to students up to grade 12 every Wednesday night. The number of students so far has ranged from 2 or 3, to 14, which is a daunting number when there’s a limited number of volunteers available. Yet, having something to do the entire time makes the time go faster than it would were there no one to assist, so it's nice to be busy.
As a homework helper, my job is to greet students who come in and inquire as to what they need help with. The age of participants is all over the board, so this could mean helping grade 1 students with addition problems, to helping high school children structure their literature essays. Having that age gap and such a large number of students, it’s necessary as a volunteer, to be able to jump from level to level at a quick pace so that everyone can get the help they need.
On my first night, I met with worst enemy in the form of high school math. Seeing a bunch of complicated equations on a sheet of paper and being expected to know the answers was concerning for me; I haven't been good with math since high school started after being ignored and swept aside by teachers who wouldn't help me, up until grade 10, at which point it was too late for me to excel. Thankfully, the equations weren’t that bad once I looked at them. After calculus in IB, basic algebra questions about solving for x really weren’t anything I should have been scared of. In a way, this was a bit of a confidence booster for myself.
All in all, this experience so far has been really different from anything I’ve ever done, but rewarding nonetheless. I went into education in the hopes to make a positive difference in the lives of students, so I believe that by doing service such as this, I’m starting out positively on my chosen path. I hope that this project continues to challenge me so that I can strengthen my weaknesses and sharpen my strengths.
Unrelated Note: It's great to get your blog done before Monday and wait till Monday to post it, EXCEPT when you forget to post it on Monday. ;-.- *sighs*