It was disappointing that with virtual learning, Tuesday service became limited. Our group, Equality for All in the English sector, had become practiced with spending a week or two with planning, creating materials, and then moving onto teaching the students the following weeks. While we were continuing with making lesson plans with the expectation that we would be able to virtually teach the students, I realized we needed a backup plan. We were expecting the students had access to Wi-fi and electronic devices, but in the case that they didn’t, we needed something they could physically interact with. Looking back on the year we had spent teaching, I realized we could make review booklets based on the topics we had completed. It would be a way for the students to go back to what they had already learned, all in one booklet, to keep the continuity of the Service program.
First, we had to collect all the old files, slides, and activities we had used over the year as they formed the basis of the content. Then, after reviewing our documents, we began work on creating the booklet. We used Google Slides and selected a layout that looked visually appealing and fun. In the process, we had to consider the activities we could include in the booklet—they had to be activities that the students could learn from without needing too many external materials. These included writing activities, drawing activities, and matching games. Mihir and I had begun the project earlier on during the summer and with Nidhi and Myola joining the Service group, we had more help. We paired off and switched roles every three weeks in creating booklet pages, generating ideas for new topics and activities, and editing.
As accustomed as we were with technology, we still faced issues—we met every Tuesday for Service, but we encountered Teams glitches a few times. To overcome this, we would communicate through other means and spend time outside of school to do so. Another challenge was that none of us could speak Marathi and we needed to be able to translate instructions to the students with the book. Thankfully, we had the support of Ms. Madhuri who helped us review our translations. As we are nearly finished with our booklets, I realized it felt disorganized as we had many pages dedicated only to vocabulary. The booklets would prove useful if they were practical—therefore, we decided to split the book sections with both vocabulary and grammar/conversational activities.
The Learning Process
This project came from the need for us, as global learners and leaders, to be open-minded. We were aware of how the students did not have easy access to technology but were eager to learn, and we had to consider what we could provide to them. Being open-minded and caring meant we would consider their situation in deciding the next step. We adapt by printing out and physically giving the booklets to the students. We were faced with a lot of uncertainty and had limited information and thus had to be communicators. Ms. Maya gave me the contact number of the Equality for All coordinator, and I messaged her to ask the questions we had about availability of materials, number of students, and topics they wanted us to focus on. It is important for us to be communicators and ask what someone wants or needs, not what we assume they want or need.
Service is continuous, and with the privilege we have as IB students, we can connect to a larger community. This CAS project had its roots in the summer of 2020, and now into winter, it is near complete. Other Service groups have also been collaborating and creating guidebooks on math and computers. When this project ends, others can take up the same concept of review booklets and make their own. To continue every year with new student leaders, new topics to teach, and new review books to support the lessons would help build a foundation for future Service participants. This project incorporates a variety of skills—outlining, collaborating, designing—and overall, something I am proud to have done. It was a way to keep the momentum of Service in quarantine and virtual learning and a learning experience, too.