Journal by Corinne –a member of the first Global Volunteers team to Poland
Team 245 has arrived. There are 11 of us to add to the nearly 3000 Global Volunteers who have already served the Siedlce area since 1990. Festivities are planned for the weekend to celebrate our 25 years of service teaching English.
Dorota Wierzbicka is our team leader. Volunteer introductions were followed by an orientation to determine our project goals. After thoughtful discussion we arrived at the following: (1) To motivate and inspire students; (2) To learn about Polish culture and language; (3) To celebrate our partnership accomplishments; (4) To build interpersonal friendships and relationships; and (5) To teach with positivity and optimism.
Next we learned of our specific teaching assignments. Questions concerning age and level skills, school locations, and other concerns were asked and clarifications made. Dorota suggested we refer to the handout, Conversational English Teaching Notes. This handout’s information suggest that volunteers teaching English be creative, speak slowly and articulately, write words as well as speaking them, use repetition, engage everyone’s at their own level, and rely on and help each other. Additional teaching aides left by previous teams are available in the resource room.
Many on the team accepted the invitation to attend mass at Trinity Church, located in nearby Żeliszew Duzy. This wooden church has a cornerstone showing it was built in 1776. It was a lovely service and remindful of our goal to learn of the culture and heritage in this area of Poland.
In the afternoon we had a lesson in the Polish lesson from Magda, who will be Dorota’s assistant during this service program. This lesson was remindful that learning another language is very difficult.
More orientation followed when school representatives arrived to discuss their needs and plans. Small groups were formed with the teachers to discuss what methods would be most effective with the student groups to which we are assigned.
Finally, I’d like to share a quote from the journal written by the first Global Volunteers team to Poland in 1990. “Here, on this trip, we will set the tone for all further Global Volunteer trips to Poland, and make impressions that will last throughout (hopefully) long and fruitful relationships with these villages and Rural Solidarity.”
Message of the day:
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Attributed to Henry Miller, founder of Kiva –Shared by Lori
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