Thursday, May 30, 2013

Spring 2013 Reflections

The end of the semester provides a unique opportunity for Service-Learning students to look back and reflect upon their experiences both in the classroom and out in the community. Each student's service project is different, and, therefore, each student walks away at the end of the semester with a unique take on the Service-Learning experience. Reflection is an important aspect of Service-Learning; it is the string that ties together the time spent in the community with the time spent in the classroom.

Here is a sampling of some of the most poignant and thought-provoking reflections written by SL students for the spring of 2013.

"I got to see first hand how to help and communicate with at risk teens. I had a great time getting to know the real people behind the trouble which most don't get to see. It influenced how I look at the kids and how we can help them grow."
"It opened my eyes and showed me how to be a better teacher by explaining things in a way that could be understood by someone who does not speak English well.  I became more excited to become a teacher because the students at the Borah Bridge program were so eager to learn and inspired me to want to be the best teacher I can be." 
"The service learning experience helped me to fully know that becoming a teacher is what I want to do. Being able to work with many different students as well as teachers helped me to see and understand the ever growing concerns within schools and how I could possibly make a difference. The service learning experience was fun, worthwhile, and I definitely learned a lot. I would recommend service learning for any student that wants to become a teacher."
"It made me aware of social problems in a more intimate way.  The service learning gave me a deeper understanding of the issues."
"I loved it.  It correlated perfectly to what we were learning in class.  It seemed like they planned it that way, but they didn't.  I felt that everything about it was very valuable to me and I have experiences to take away that are highly positive."
"I decided on my future career plans after volunteering at the English Language Center."
"Service learning was very impactful in my life. It is one thing to talk about problems in class, but to actually see it is another story. I got so much from this experience and it has really made me take a second look at my life."
"I learned a lot about cultural diversity in the classroom.  I also learned a lot about classroom management skills and different ways to teach children math concepts."
"The service learning program gave me an incredible opportunity to network with professionals in a number of fields that I was interested in. It gave me a better understanding of the work that each of these agencies do and the importance of their work and volunteers." 
 As you can see, Service-Learning is often an eye-opening opportunity, affecting the way these students think about volunteering, service, education, and the community for the rest of their lives. Indeed, some have found their callings in the course of their Service-Learning classes.

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