Today I helped administer a coloring and reading exercise to kindergarten students in Mrs. Sizer's class.
How have your expectations regarding your service-learning component changed since you began the semester?
I have been involved with service-learning prior to this semester so I feel as though I had well-formulated expectations. The only thing that could have been unforeseen was the minimal Spanish I have applied to the classroom due to the kid's age. However, I have helped children from minority groups.
Reflect upon the notion of reciprocity within Language/study Buddies. Do you feel you are giving more than you are receiving in return? Are you receiving more than what you are giving? Elaborate in detail.
I feel as though I am giving more than I am receiving. I do not necessarily view this as a bad thing in this specific scenario because I came into this experience expecting to serve. Although I feel that I have been giving more than I had been receiving, I still feel that I have gained some things from this experience thus far. I enjoy working with the children, my patience has definitely been tested at times but I have always had fun when helping.
1- If applicable, Relate and/or contrast your own language learning process (with the acquisition of Spanish, for example) to that of the students you are working with this semester (children youth or adults).
I work with kindergarten students and the majority of the duties I have when helping out include administering elementary counting and spelling tests. As I facilitate these exercises, I connect them to my own elementary (but developing) Spanish skills when doing coursework in and out of the classroom. For the students I work with, they do better when someone more knowledgeable helps them and I feel the same way when I work with my Spanish. It helps to have someone who is both knowledgable and proficient in the subject that you are struggling with.
2- If you are assisting with English speakers, elaborate on working with the community and contrast with your own schooling experience.
It has been a long time since I have been in kindergarten, but I do not remember as many individual activities like the ones that I have been involved with. I think that it is a great way to keep a note of the students who are struggling or excelling and adjusting their education accordingly. The schools I went to in elementary only had one primary teacher and maybe one helper, whereas the St. Peter classroom I have attended has always had two teachers, sometimes a helper, and usually a Language Buddy for part of every day. I think that these are awesome resources that the kids are exposed to and I wish that I would have received as much individual attention in my elementary school education that these kids do.
Today in Mrs. Sizer's Kindergarden class, I helped administer a counting exercise. We played "war" to practice the values of numbers and which are greater or less than the others. I had a lot of fun playing and interacting with the kids.
I met with my little, Eric, for the first time of the year. He had been involved with football and was unable to meet until this week. It was nice to see him after a few months. We went to Lund and played football and caught up.
Last Friday I helped Mrs. Sizer's kindergarten class by administering a number and letter test to students.
Today Amy, my fellow coordinators, and I trained a new class of Big Partners into the organization!
I helped Mrs. Sizer with her class of kindergarten students by administering a counting exercise to determine which students were proficient in counting to 20.
What are your expectations regarding the service-learning component for this class?
I like working with kids so I am not too worried about the service portion of my Spanish 102 class as it will deal with children through the Language Buddies program. I had originally thought that we could only teach Spanish to the children and that made me nervous, but I have since learned that we can really do whatever subject we want. The flexibility in subject, as well as the choice of age group, makes me feel a lot more comfortable going into this service component of my class. I think that the 10 or so hours that I spend in the classroom with Language Buddies will be a good time.
What (skills, talents, service) can you offer the Hispanic / immigrant community of St. Peter this semester?
I am a patient person who interacts well with children so I think those two skills will serve me well in this opportunity. I have confidence that I will make this a meaningful experience for both myself and the kids involved as a result of the skills I possess.
Name 2-3 concrete benefits you could receive through the community component in this course.
Knowing that you have helped people and made a difference in your community is a benefit in and of itself. Additionally, working with kids is nice because sometimes you can just be a kid right with them and kind of unwind while you do the work. I think that the kids I work will have received some sort of benefit because of my help and I will, in turn, feel good about my actions that helped them.
What does intercultural competence mean? Use your own definition and then, offer an example of it through personal or academic experience.
Intercultural competence does not just mean knowing the holidays of another culture, country, or religion, but possessing a more deep understanding of the culture as a whole. An understanding which does not make it better or worse from one’s own culture, just different. And an understanding which allows you to effectively and respectfully interact with those within that differing culture.