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.