LO4-Show commitment and perseverance in CAS experiences. Students can articulate the stages from conceiving an idea to executing a plan for a CAS experience or series of CAS experiences
It’s been around half a year since I’ve joined the arts and crafts service with kids. After visiting the kids several times, I’ve learned a lot about the service and how to better improve our sessions with them.
But first, some things that went well this semester were that all the activities we planned were suitable for the kids. They did not have many questions about the tasks and seemed to enjoy all the activities. We also had a plan (link here) for what we would do with the kids every week. We tried to have more engaging sessions by connecting the activities with what they were currently learning at school. And on a more personal note, I was very pleased with how much I enjoyed this service. Talking with the kids was a great pass time and they seemed to enjoy the company as well.
However, an issue we ran into was not gathering the materials needed beforehand and thus not always following our plan. This led to the kids colouring or doing another simple activity that was arts and crafts related, but not very engaging nor anything new. We also thought that our ideas became a bit too repetitive towards the end of the semester. Although the kids still seemed very excited to colour or draw, we realized that the activities were not helping them develop new skills nor bringing anything new that the teachers could not easily do by themselves.
Below is a screenshot of our services’ SWOT analysis for this semester:
The picture on the left is of one of the kids making a poster about ways to conserve water. Because the kids were learning about saving water and electricity, we thought this was a good activity to have. The picture on the right is of a few kids colouring in a character from a book we had just read to them.
However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, we are not allowed to visit the kids until further notice. The situation will be reassessed in April to see if we can continue visiting them. Although this has happened, we are still committed to helping the kids even if what we do might be different from what we initially thought. So last week, we brainstormed some ideas. We came up with a few ideas such as recording each member reading a book and making a video tutorial for a craft. We would then send one video each week. However, I was still a bit bummed because it just isn’t the same. Although this service was made to help develop the kids’ creativity, I think the conversations and actual interactions we have with the kids are just as meaningful. I really enjoyed being with the kids and I found it especially gratifying when a kid would remember me from the week before and wanted to talk. So, I thought it would be a good idea to video call them for a few minutes every week just so we can chat for a while. We emailed those in charge of the center with these possible suggestions and hopefully, they will agree.
In addition, since we have some extra time, we also decided to meet with an ES teacher from school who will give us some tips and tricks on how to handle kids. We might even have a chance to help teach one of their classes.
So although the outbreak has caused quite a bit of change to our service, we still hope these new ideas we have come up with will allow us to connect with the kids and to continue to help them develop their creativity.