For this Murni reflection, I wanted to talk less about myself and my difficulties or challenges and more about the process and service itself. This service is almost completely student-led and organised, so I had a lot of input in the way this service would be run.
Before we began with the children coming in and doing gymnastics, lots of planning needed to be done: we had to organise the sessions, get equipment, and train ourselves on how to support them (literally) while learning skills. We investigated many things with our service goals – and did an abundance of research about the kids and their socio-economic backgrounds; essentially, what we needed to be aware of. Then we prepared and planned sessions. This experience was really valuable for me as not only would we be able to run the service effectively but also be sensitive and aware of the situation. Obviously there is also a lot of things to be aware of before doing service with kids – protection acts and what not – so this was something to research extensively. I hope I remember the importance of this long investigative process next time I am planning an experience – not necessarily just a CAS experience.
But of course, there were some challenges to the preparation we had done. As we went through the sessions, we began to see some things that we would need to tweak for next time. We had foreseen some hyperactivity, but we also quickly realised that they had short attention spans as well – and thus needed to either add some activities or find a way to keep all the kids engaged while we were spotting one kid on one apparatus. It really exposed the fact that no matter how prepared one may be, they can never foresee every situation and should have backup plans – or at the very least, be flexible in the schedule.
Overall, however, the process was really useful not only to this service – but it is also applicable to future services and other activities.