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*