The first week has flown so quickly at the camp, and words cannot explain all the range of emotions I’ve felt. They’ve ranged from complete anxiety and nervousness meeting my other volunteer and if we would have good chemistry to teach, to complete happiness after getting to know how wonderful my students were. I started the week with an open mind, realizing it would be difficult to get to know my students and for the week to go smoothly. Honestly, I was mentally preparing for the worst so I knew I had to give my 101% in order to be the best teacher I can be for my students.
It was a relief finding out that our students were Art and Design majors, so we had an even combination of boys and girls and they seemed a lot more outgoing than I thought they would be. My partner and I ended up having our introduction lessons on Tuesday since our main teacher made us combine our classes on Monday, but it ended up working out much to our favor. From the beginning, we established our rules and told them how our main goal was to get to know the students better and ultimately form a new bond with them.
The activities my partner and I focused on were mainly presentation based, in order to get all the students to speak in front of a group and lose some of their fear of public speaking. We also really focused on seeing who was having the most trouble speaking, like the really quiet and shy ones and made it a point to help them a little more along the way. Something very effective that the students appreciated was how we have learned their names and created a book with all the students’ pictures and facts about themselves.
Many of the students are really enthusiastic about learning and are actually practicing more than I thought they would be! On the second day a group of students were dancing with me after class during the afternoon activities and slowly but surely were inviting Hannah and I to lunch and to hang out after class. I love how they want to teach us so much about their culture and take us to their favorite food places, and a group of us even went to karaoke on Saturday!
Reflecting on this past week, I am so happy of the bond I share with my students and seeing them so excited every single day in class. Their friendship, kindness and welcoming nature make me feel so happy to be here and I want to be the best role model for them and their friend forever. I am looking forward to the next two weeks with my students.