Teaching English to Support Staff

With the help of a small requirement for the IB, the DP students had the opportunity to choose their own CAS Project and hence Bhairavi, Chaitali and I decided to take up leading a group of support staff in English classes every Thursday after school. This very rewarding Service Learning CAS experience started in the beginning of our diploma years, however, we took up the responsibility very recently. It was an experience that helped us grow as people and hopefully, the support staff members in their English language skills. We enjoyed the CAS experience so much that the project lasted longer than what we had initially planned and will continue with a new group of DP students in the coming year.

The idea began with support staff members expressing their willingness to learn English and the difficulty they had in communicating with kids and teachers at school, which was an important requirement. Along with Ms. Shylaja as our supervisor, Bhairavi, Chaitali and I volunteered to help the members and the project kickstarted.

There was a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction as well as gratitude in teaching the special people, who had, in our primary years taught us how to eat properly, dress properly and take care of ourselves. Initially it was a struggle, but all of us sailed through it together. It was especially rewarding as it helped us, as volunteers collaborate together and understand the struggles our teachers go through. We were still lucky as we had a very motivated group of students. Not only did the classes enhance our teaching skills, but also helped improve our marathi speaking.

The support staff members who came to the classes week after week, made us realize what an amazing opportunity we have had throughout our own lives to receive the kind of the exposure that we did. We were awestruck by the dedication and perseverance they showed in learning a new language. It is terrifying and difficult for anyone to take on something completely new and different, but the group of the support staff members who came to learn, were always ready and open to learning and understanding the subject. We have seen the difference in their ability to understand and converse in English, from the day we started till today. We have seen how much they have succeeded in achieving their goals, which is proof of their hard work.

This experience taught us a lot of skills, like planning and organizing, that went into the lessons. Collaboration and understanding the needs of others is crucial to know how to approach the topic in a way that it is best understood. It has been a fantastic journey for the last two years, and we are a little bit sad to see our involvement in it come to an end!

DP2 CAS Students: Tanvi Kashyape, Bhairavi Dighe, and Chaitali Tongaonkar