My CBSL placement is with the U of R Campus For All program. Weekly I go with a student to his wearable art class.
Three things I have learned from this experience so far is:
- When I went to have the initial meeting with the Campus For All Director she explained what the organization was, etc. We got chatting how they place students and what potential volunteer options were available to me. She was worried about not finding anyone who would want to attend the class, Wearables: Art and Body Tech with a student. I asked what that entailed and said I would do that as it sounds new and exciting. It is a hands-on class where students learn such things as how to build circuits, create body art and sew, to name a few. I am excited to learn about these things while providing assistance to my Campus For All student. I will attend the weekly class with my student and help him wherever possible. He may need help taking course notes, understanding assignments, etc.
- Attending the first class with my student was not exactly what I had expected. There was no hands-on component that day. Instead, each person had to do a presentation on a unique piece of technology. I found this very interesting as this is not my area of study at all and learned about many technologies (both new and old). I also found it very interesting how presentations are done in other areas of study. In the Faculty of Education, I am used to presentations being very prepared with everything ready to go (technology, handouts, etc.) and presenters addressing the group from the front of the classroom. This was not the case with these presentations. Each presenter had to take time to set up their technology and hook up their own devices. The presenters remained seated, behind their technology piece, to address the class. In addition, a large number of students were on their personal phones and devices while their peers presented which I think must have been very uncomfortable for the student presenting. My student did not know that he needed to do a presentation as I think he had not fully understood the directions from the previous week. However, he went ahead and did his presentation on moveable hand technology. I realized that confirming my student’s understanding of course assignments, deadlines and expectations will be one way that I can support him.
- I went for lunch with “my” student before class. Learning about him, his life, his likes and dislikes was nice. Taking the time to get to know each other first will allow us to work well together and also find common interests we both enjoy.
Two Connections I have made so far are:
- No matter how an individual learns or the struggles faced with learning, everyone has individual strengths and are all capable of learning.
- Circuit building is a lot like playing with Lego as a child. This was something that I never was particularly good at and I always had my younger, “Lego loving” brother build everything for me! This will be a new “Lego building experience” which I hope I enjoy more so that I can be of some assistance to my student. I am definitely excited to learn more.
One question I still have:
The class was quite small which is nice as it is easier to get to know other students. I am interested to know what these students want to do after they finish their degree as classes such as this one have so many diverse aspects to it!
Campus For All is a service at U of R that I was not aware of until signing up for this volunteer experience. In addition to learning more about this program, I want to be able to provide a useful mentorship for my student and develop a friendship that will continue after my volunteer experience ends.