Aryan P. – CAS Article

The CAS Project, which stands for creativity, activity and service encourages students to to engage in meaningful and purposeful activities outside of school hours. To integrate different strands of the CAS programme, I chose to lead a group of students from my school towards teaching English to young children from a school nearby. The school, Doorstep is not one with many facilities, many of the students studying there don’t come from much. When I heard this, I saw how important it was to do my best to teach them something valuable. This is why I decided to lead students from MIS to teach them English. I believe languages are an essential part of our identity and an essential tool to achieving anything you want. I wanted to give the students a means to communicate with others for the rest of their lives. Throughout the experience, I learned a lot about the challenges of teaching and the importance of cultural awareness. It took a lot of collaboration and effort while preparing each lesson plan because there were unique ideas from every member of the group. As leader, I assigned different roles to different members of the group and even made groups or pairs of students that worked better together. I had to ensure everyone there worked in harmony and made it an effective hour of learning for the students. Together we taught the students English from the very basics of the alphabet until complex sentence formation. One of the biggest challenges we faced was the language barrier. Many of the students spoke little to no English, which made communication difficult at times. However, we quickly learned to adapt our teaching style to meet the needs of our students. We used visual aids and gestures to help convey our lessons. I ensured I made groups of MIS students where there was a member in each group that could speak Hindi or Marathi. Through this experience, I did service for the students by teaching them English, as well as creativity by preparing detailed lesson plans for them every week. I did this throughout my first year of the diploma programme, and I’m now continuing this experience in my second year, with somebody else as leader. Not only did I improve my teaching and communication skills, but I also gained a deeper appreciation for cultural awareness and the challenges faced by language learners. I am proud to have been able to make a positive impact on the lives of these students and hope to continue volunteering in my community in the future. I am grateful I had the opportunity of acting as leader as it instilled within me a sense of leadership and augmented my collaborative skills. I am proud of what we accomplished in that year and look forward to more students signing up after I graduate.