By: Kahne and Westheimer
Service Learning has done something wonderful to they way I view the jobs and duties of a teacher. It has done nothing but solidify the fact that teaching is something to do for the rest of my life. However it has not only been beneficial to me, it has helped the children in my classroom as well. Service Learning is about being able to give back to your community in a way that not only helps the ones you are helping, but also helps yourself. This opportunity has been an amazing learning experience, and I know my students feel the same way as well.
The drastic change in the children has been something amazing to see. In the classroom, I am seen as a "reward" for good behavior, or an incentive to make good art work in ways such as "If you are able to fill the WHOOOOOOLE page with artwork, I'll let you get up and show Ms. McCulley what you have done!" and "If you guys behave, then Ms. McCulley will be happy to come into class today and see all of you!", and that has helped the overall atmosphere in the classroom.
As the article explains, the purpose of service learning is to "Improve the community and invigorate the classroom, providing rich educational experiences for students at all levels of schooling...[we] aim to respond to the needs of the community while furthering the academic goals of students." and I believe that this service learning project has done just that. I have helped the students I am with while also learning many things myself. Service learning is an important part to the community as a whole because in doing these projects in schools, we are raising well rounded students who are aware of the social problems in their community and willing to fix it. In that, we are also helping the community heal as a whole.
Questions/Points to Share:
As I saw in some of the other blogs, people were required to do community service projects in order to graduate high school. While a lot of people saw this as normal and thought there was no other way, I was the opposite. My school did NOT require any form of community service in order to be able to graduate. I feel as though if we were required to, this project would have been a lot easier since day one because I would have know exactly how this was going to work.