Learning from young adults
Students enjoy interacting with surprise school guests
In utilizing community resources to enrich grade school students' learning, educators often invite religious leaders, parents and other professionals to speak to students in their schools for they believe these people have a lot of experiences to share.
In English camps, teachers are often invited too to facilitate camp activities for they are perceived to have creativity and resourcefulness.
But in my English Club I invited a young adult as a resource person. I have been privileged to know one student who learned English during his high school days from a public school under the Nonthaburi English Teachers' Project. I did not hesitate to invite this young student to my English Club because he was a product of the project.
This student was on vacation for 3 months so I didn't let the opportunity pass without inviting him. It was rather difficult for him to accept my invitation because my school was 70 kilometers away from where he lived. It would take four rides to come from his place to our school. But because I am his mother's friend, and he was free, he agreed.
I instructed him to talk to my 12 English Club members from grades 2-6 for an hour, share some information about himself, ask questions, and introduce action songs to make his meeting with students fun .
He came an hour earlier as scheduled for his dad drove him to my school. He had a chance to observe my grade 1 students and enjoyed it too. He met my club members. He introduced himself; his name, address, country, nationality, school, interests, and course. To check if my students understood him, he asked questions and my students were all able to recall his personal data. In return, the students asked questions too.
He introduced a game that whenever a pen passed stopped to a student at the end of a song, this student would answer a question. If the answer was correct the student would receive a prize. The students participated actively. At the end of the period, the club members wrote thank you notes to him.
Young adult students have charisma. Students like them perhaps of their youth, energy, and looks. One thing more, students can identify themselves with their elder brother or sister. Anyway, my guest had a wonderful time. When asked if he liked to come back, he said, he would and perhaps would ask his younger brother to be with him.
Similarly, when I was teaching in another government school in Park Kred, Nonthaburi we had frequent volunteers from International School of Bangkok ( ISB), and from a college in England. The high school and college students had an afternoon or at times a day to teach. They had lessons, materials, and activities on different topics.
Since they taught classes during my English time, I had the chance to observe my students' behavior, attitude, and participation. They really liked learning from these young adults.
So, the next time you have activities needing some resource persons in your grade school, tap young high school or college students. Your students will enjoy and learn more from them because they can easily relate with them.
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