CLIMB is a service-learning experience that Spring Hill College has for sophomores and juniors where we go out in our community and volunteer in different fields. For my Norse Mythology class we go to a school called Howard Elementary and we work with an awesome group of kids and we teach them the Norse stories of creation. The following article is actually my first CLIMB response to my teacher. I hope you enjoy! :)
Personally, I just want to start off by saying I really enjoyed this experience thus far. It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life and it has only been one visit. The visit to Howard Elementary school made me realize that my recent career and life change to be an English (in foreign countries) is exactly what I should do. I loved every moment of it and I was just as sad as the students were for us to leave.
When I first arrived at Howard I was slightly overwhelmed because it was my first time ever teaching something to small children. I had only ever done SWAT team which is students working against tobacco and that was not as intimate as this CLIMB experience was. When I first met the kids I felt awkward. I thought to myself, “God. Do I have the patience to do this? Are they going to like me?” To my surprise however, it went great and Amber and I had a very natural and fun time with our small group. It went well because the kids were excited and we were excited to teach people who were interested in learning. It was a beautiful thing. We could have improved on time because it felt really rushed. Luckily, that only happened because it was the first time. Other than the time thing everything went as expected.
There were many surprises from the children that I did not expect. First of all the way that they were so excited really excited me. What was even more surprising is how smart they were. I don't know why I assumed that fifth graders were little kids who would be in awe of everything that we did. They were in awe but not like in the way a kindergartner is an awe but more like an engaged fifth grader. The coolest thing of all was how they read together and helped each other out like a team. If one couldn't say a weird Norse word another would help them figure it out. That was so cool to see.
The part I think the students enjoyed the most is the fact that people that were older than them yet younger than their parents and teachers were there with them and the fact that they were out of their normal routine. The part I enjoyed the most was getting to know them. Younger kids are the coolest because they are not judgmental and they love everyone. It easy to enjoy spending time with them and reading to them. It's almost like they become our younger siblings and we just want to educate them and help them. That was my favorite part! Making them feel like family and making them smile.
I personally feel this experience has and will continue to help me grow as a person. It puts me in a different environment in a new role that I've never been in but it's all for the better and I'm extremely appreciative of it so far.