25.01.2021 | Blog

In and out of school

Kids are going to define the future, and helping out at the schools in Zagorje definitely has made me realise that. And while even that experience has been altered by Covid, it was still a very eye opening ordeal. As a Volunteer I have noticed I have a unique chance to help the teachers during their lessons

For the first two months I went to the schools in person, met a lot of teachers and many many more kids. I learnt a lot when it comes to communicating to children and teaching them a thing or two. Working with older kids is a delight all by itself, if I do say so myself. There is a certain amount of joy when you manage to gain the attention of a 13 year old and manage to teach them something which he or she might remember a couple of years down the line.

Now that the schools have closed down and all the schooling is done online, I think the standard has inevitably fallen quite a bit. I would like to clarify that it’s not that teachers do less work, far from it. I would just like to point out that this form of attending school is incredibly limited. Even my own work feels like it is not up to par like it was before, but now, more than ever, I think it is vital that Volunteers join these online classrooms and reinvigorate the children and their unconscious wish to learn about the world and all it has to offer.

From my experience volunteering in school on location and from home, I can make a comparison. I think Volunteering on location was excellent, the kids are very receptive and the teachers were very cooperative. Everyday school started around 8 in the morning and all the classes were in class for the day.

In comparison, when schools closed down, pupils of all ages had significantly less time in class and I think it’s generally accepted that it is a less efficient way of teaching. There is no longer the face to face atmosphere that the pupils have with the teachers and less time to teach as the younger classes meet up less, so they tend to talk to each other for 5 minutes at the beginning of the hour.

When it comes to Online school, I cannot emphasise enough how much work teachers do for the long-term well being of the children they educate. They, in my humble opinion, should be the heroes of our society right now. I don’t think many people can accurately contemplate how educating children via the computer is as challenging as it really is. I notice this every time I take part in the classes I attend.

We, as volunteers, have the power to assist teachers immensely. We have a completely different role compared to the teachers when we become their assistants for an hour. We can come into the class and completely shake up the technological monotony of the classroom, especially when the children already know you. I think now is the time when we, as volunteers can really do the most for society by supporting the teachers we work with.

I would like to name the schools I worked with and point out the stellar level at which the teachers have cooperated with me and also just their standard of education in general. First of all, I started at Osnovna šola Toneta Okrogarja, who on one of my first days, took the children out on a very active walk. I had a run with the kids on our break and we all had a great time. I think they take a very active approach in the education of their children, while leaving them enough room to still be children. The Second School I have worked at is Osnovna šola Ivana Skvarče. They had a level of cooperation which I see great potential in. One of my favorite days working at the school was when I co-lead a cultural day at the school with the Headmaster, Kristina Renko. It was an immensely fun and insightful day that gave me insight to the experience of being a teacher. While I probably only saw some of the work that goes into educating the children of Zasavje and the world, I think that they make a real effort and invest their time into the pupils they teach.

Written by: Jordan William McLaughlin



Projekti prostovoljstva v okviru Evropske solidarnostne enote mladim nudijo priložnosti za prostovoljsko delo. Odgovarjajo na pomembne potrebe družbe, prispevajo h krepitvi skupnosti in ob tem prostovoljcem omogočajo, da pridobivajo uporabne izkušnje, veščine in kompetence za svoj osebni, izobraževalni, socialni, državljanski in profesionalni razvoj, s čimer se izboljšuje njihova zaposljivost.

Več o programu Evropske solidarnostne enote (slo. ESE, ang. ESC, European Solidarity Corps, bivši EVS) si lahko preberete na povezavi: http://www.movit.si/ese/projekti-prostovoljstva/