Denise Lim

1) What are the three key things you have learned from this service learning project?

From this service learning project, I have learnt to be more patient and understanding. Throughout my service in TYA, I found that the younger children are very active and they get distracted easily. Hence, it is difficult to get them to sit down quietly and concentrate on their work. Some of them can be quite rebellious too, thus trying to reason with them or shouting at them is not the way to handle them and teach them to listen. Therefore, I have learnt to be more patient and understanding with them. On the other hand, for the older children, they are more matured and thus they can sit quietly and do their work without having to be told to. However, some of them tend to be less motivated to do their work, thus I have learnt to be more encouraging and motivating.

From this service learning project, I have learnt to be more committed in whatever I do. For the TYA centre that I attend, there are not many volunteers attending that centre. Hence, there will often be a lack of volunteers to tutor the children and the situation in which one volunteer has to tutor more than one child at a time become very often. Thus, this thought me that if we decide to do something, we should ensure that we try our best to carry out what we decide to do.

From this service learning project, I have learnt that we should be well prepared before carrying out any projects. If we fail to plan, we plan to fail. Prior to the science lessons and origami lessons that we had with the children, we had a lot of preparation and dry runs before the actual day. Had we not been well prepared, the science lessons and the origami lessons would not be able to be carried out smoothly and confidently. However, the science lessons and the origami lessons would not be a success if the team had not communicated, collaborated with one another and planned well.

2) What are the two challenges you faced during this service learning project?

One of the challenges I faced during this service learning project was that when I was tutoring the children, there were times when they were unable to understand my explanations fully when I tutored them, and as some of them were quite quiet and shy, they did not voice out their doubts even if they did not understand their work, thus I did not know if they really understood their work. Also, I found it difficult to explain to them certain concepts in a way that they would understand.

One of the challenges I faced during this service learning project was that for the science lessons, the lessons had to be simplified a lot so that the children could understand. However, the simplification would mean that certain concepts could not be taught to the children.
3) If you were to do this project again, what are the two things you would do differently?

If I were to do this project again, I would try to bond with all of the children instead of just tutoring them.

If I were to do this project again, I would try to be committed to this project as there were times when I could not go to the centre to tutor the children due to other commitments. 

4) How would you assess the success of this project?

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most successful, I would give this project an 8. I feel that this project was quite successful as not only did the children benefit from our teaching, but we also have benefited and gain quite a lot of learning points. Since all of us look forward to going to the TYA centres every week to tutor the children, I feel that this project has been a very successful one.

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