Concordia MS: Service Learning
I felt a grin slowly spreading across my lips when the service learning news was presented to us by our teacher. In our school, there were many projects that allowed us to speaking in front of a crowd – drama, debate, reading theater, to name a few – yet service learning required much more preparation than those.
Take picking the teaching topic for example. We had to brainstorm: What would the children have most interest in? What topic would be most related to their lives? Fairy tales, cartoons, numbers, foods all crossed our minds, and our group decided on animals. Other factors had to be taken into consideration too, such as class time, the children’s English abilities, student/teacher ratio… In short, we had to learn to think over our plans and make it feasible. I’m a perfectionist, but even if I weren’t, I’m sure I’d enjoy completing the teaching plan anyway.
However, anxiety lingered on my mind through the weeks of preparation. I seemed to be the only one feeling so, mostly because I seldom talk to children. Yet that problem was solved when the class started – the children were so vigorous! They were beaming and laughing and so eager to start the class. Originally I also worried about the vocabularies being too difficult for them to comprehend, but my friend told me to rest assured. It seems like she’s right, because the children’s ability to memorize them are truly astonishing. At the end of the day we were tired out, but the kids remained spirited as usual.
This was an experience no other could replace. Actually, I would say that we learned more from the children than they from us. It made me realize two things:
First, children have potential. They are faster learners than us, and they definitely do not lack the passion to learn. Sometimes all they lack are resources that the society or their family cannot provide. Secondly, children need creative teachings. They need activities to let them run their imagination freely, and also, run physically. People in their age should not be tied down to chairs.