Do you have a passion for teaching? For learning? Community service? Service learning is definitely for you. Service learning is based on experiential learning, where you learn from your environment, which usually is outside the classroom walls. Students learn through the process of "doing". The actual act of "doing" the activity is not enough though. There must be reflective thought about the project, what they think about it, what's its purpose, how it influences them, society. etc. There are some options on how to incorporate the key element of reflection. Based on your class and creativity, here are a few choices.
1. Students can create a blog they can reflect in daily or once a week.
2. Students can "tweet" about it in 140 characters or less. This can be fun and teach students how to consolidate their thoughts.
3. Have students write a paper at the end of the semester regarding their service learning project.
4. Have them create an avatar that represents their thoughts and action regarding the service learning project.
5. Have them present a speech or powerpoint about their experience.
6. Create a youtube video about the project.
A Student's Reflection
My community service project consisted of planting flower pots for the elderly in
a retirement center. There are many things that I learned from working on this
project. Some of these things include working with a group without being to0
bossy or trying to take control of the project. Another experience that I will take with me and will try to remember to work on a daily basis is the appreciation of friendships and the value of the time I am with my family.
First the friendship: I have several friends but I don’t appreciate the time and effort they put in to spend time with me. Also, the help, support and the time they spend listening to my problems. I learned every relationship is important and has to be handled in that way. Finally, I learned that appreciating the time spent with my family is very important
thing to learn and to never forget, because it is so easily forgotten when you
are living your everyday life. Also money cannot keep you from feeling alone, sad, and forgotten, so while we are piling up the money in the bank and going through life’s motions, take time to keep all your relationships strong, full of love and happiness, because you do not want to end up losing out on all the wonderful experiences that family and friends can bring.
Gratitude in Higher Ed
College can be a challenging
concept at any age. Young students
are exposed to a whole new academic world, while older non-traditional students
try to integrate in an unfamiliar and sometimes scary world.
However, every student has the same goal: pass.
The professor’s goal is for the student to learn and be successful in
college. However, the position of
“educator” allows us to teach lifelong skills that will continue once the
semester is done. As an instructor
at a community college, I noticed many of students were surviving day by day and
taking classes because they were required. I saw this as an opportunity to
incorporate a sense of gratitude in the classroom, so not only were they
learning about certain theories and ideas, but they were examining their own
lives. I wanted to change their
negative attitude to a more positive one.
After reading several books on gratitude and the popular book “The
Secret”, I decided that I would stimulate my curriculum with “positive”
assignments. Most of these
assignments are journaling and reflecting within.
However, these exercises can be manipulated to fit the needs and
objectives of your class. Keep in
mind that I provide 20 weeks of assignments, more than your typical 16 week
semester, in case you want to add more assignments for certain weeks. Good luck and let the attitude of