Service Learning - VOA High School
Lets start out by saying that I worked at the VOA High School last semester helping adult Somali people with their math skills. They needed to be able to pass a test in order to graduate from this school. So...this semester I wanted to do something a little different but I wanted to stay at VOA High School because I felt comfortable here - with the people and the building.
I started my service learning a little late because of schedule conflictions and other situations but eventually I got it all sorted out along with the help of VOA HIgh School. I wanted to help some of the younger people so I decided to work there during the day when there is a different age group attending school.
My first time going to volunteer this semester I went there and the school was locked because what would you know, it was President's Day and they didn't have school.
The next time I went, I just sat in the tudor room and helped anyone that needed help but then I decided that I didn't want to just help random people; I wanted to do something more specific.
I talked with the principal and he suggested helping the social studies teacher - Ben with his classes. For the most part I tudor anywhere from 1.30 hours to 3.00 hours. I help Ben with two of his classes and they differ a lot in types of people, content, and pace. The first class I help him with are all students who have just arrived here and are still learning about the branches of the government. Not only do I help them with their work, I also help them pronounce hard words like: judicial, legislative, and executive. You never realize how hard those words are to say until you have to help someone else say them I guess :) Ben has worksheets printed out every week for them to work on and if they need help then I help them arrive at the answer without actually giving them the answer. Then I help them spell it out.
The next class that I help him with is a more advanced class. They are currently learning about different court cases and how to summarize them. He does - what seems like - silly little exercises to teach them what things are but it is probably the easiest way to do it since there is a language barrier. When he tought them what the term versus meant, he had two of the students arm wrestle, but it worked. He also seperated the class in half and treated one half unfairly to teach them what segregation is. These little activities work. So what I help with is, he prepares for them to read different, famous court cases every week and asks them questions about them - the who, what, when, where, why. I help them answer those questions if they need any help. But there have been some changes in the past week. It is difficult for Ben to teach this class day to day because there are a lot of students in different situations and just don't come to school, so he is preparing a current event for them every day where they have to answer the who, what, when, where, why.
All and all, I help Ben with the students that don't need as much help so he can concentrate on the students that are a little bit behind and can help them catch up.