Service Learning: Some advice for the newbies. By: Jenny Salewski
Sometimes things can be a bit frustrating when you are doing your service learning project… Well here’s some tips to help you out!
Lets start with this… Make sure that you have read and understood all of the documents that Gordon gave you for this project. If you have any questions about the information ask right away!
Get started as soon as you can! Because… -Many agencies can be a hard to get a hold off. -You may have to go through a background check which could take a while. -The agency you would like might decide that you are not a good fit for them. -This will make things easier
When contacting an agency… -BE CLEAR -let them know who you are -let them know what your purpose is -AGENCY LIST -Gordon will provide you with an agency list. Try to take advantage of this. These agencies already know more or less about this project.
Be Prepared -Make sure that you have a list of questions ready for your first session. This can help fill some of those awkward silent moments. Your senior might want to just get to know you first before you start with an interview. Go with the flow, and do what feels right. Make sure to actually take an interest in what they are saying to you.
Be Polite -Always say thank you after your session with your senior. The senior I was paired with was impressed at how polite I was. She told me that she has met many young people that just didn’t have simple manners. It’s good to let your senior know that you appreciate his or her time with you. -This goes for dealing with the agency too.
Activities -Find out what your senior enjoys doing. Maybe they like certain games, crafts, or something else. See if they have any thoughts of how to spend your time together. Things will go smoothly when you do this, and time will most likely go by much faster
Most Importantly -Remember that the senior you have been paired with is human just like you! Don’t let their age or physical appearance scare you. Your senior might tell you some great stories or teach you some new lessons. You might feel nervous, and this is ok. Just take a deep breath and things will go by faster than you will imagine.