All posts by Gillian Paku

Service Learning at York HS

Posting on behalf of Caroline…

The opportunity to complete a service learning component has brought new meaning to the outcomes of working within a classroom. Even after just two, relatively simple work sessions with students, I have begun to get a feel for what my peers say when they discuss how different it really is when you leave the college classroom and enter the one where you become the teacher. Forty minutes really does feel like ten when you have goals you wish to accomplish, and there is never enough time.
I witnessed five different styles of learning in my five students, and the idea of differentiation of assessment and instruction has never felt more relevant to me. Ideas that were one paragraph in a textbook are now critical to real-life application, and I had found myself digging through notes to remind myself of WHY these things mattered. It’s one thing to do a presentations on visual learners, and another to sit down with a student who requests you draw them a diagram.
There was an extreme sense of responsibility to these students who I had never met; to use their time productively, and walk in the room prepared to be a resource. These are experiences and revelations that can only come from direct contact with students and being thrown into the role of teacher, and this service learning project has done just that.