Message of the day (shared by Olivia) – “A day without laughter is a wasted day”
There are myriad reasons why volunteering has changed my life forever. I have often heard people talk about the benefits of volunteering, of it being a way to reach out and touch the lives of others in a positive way. But I didn’t fully understand the impact of that claim until I started to volunteer myself. This is my first time participating with the organization Global Volunteers teaching conversational English abroad.
I am immensely grateful that the opportunity to teach English abroad in Poland was available to me. I have noted that the students of Poland are both culturally and linguistically “diverse”. I have also found that many students know the importance and need to learn English as a second language. As I can see: many students that we teach English to have traveled from long distances by train, bike, or walked to various places to learn a foreign language. Poland along with Global Volunteers understands that being multilingual, English especially, is essential to expanding the intellectual views and progression of Poland, in this ever changing world in which we live. I’m proud to say that the students I teach are diverse intellectually have good learning habits in memorization, critical thinking skills and creativity. I am extremely impressed with the students of Kotun and Siedlce. It has been very pleasurably experience for me and the rest of the volunteering staff too; as they would attest to this statement. The following are a few comments of my Global Volunteers’ team members:
· I noted in my observations that my previous year students, that I am again teaching have increased their English skills and development, particularly in the area of memorization.
· This being our first time volunteering in Poland my family and I have never felt so warmly welcomed. From the moment we arrived at our destination schools, I saw the students waiting with anticipation upon our arrival. We felt honored.
· What has brought me much pleasure in my second time volunteering here in Poland is the interaction I receive from adult classes at the Community Center in Kotun. I feel that I have helped create a “Cultural Feedback” that has driven the adult students to engage, retain and ultimately make for successful interaction of group discussions in English.
· After this being my sixth year teaching English in Poland, I have found that each time I come back I gain new experiences with students. I can’t express enough that each and every year I have taught, each student or group of students has brought much delight and reward to teaching. I guess I have no boundaries when it comes to teaching English to my students. I enjoy teaching the youngest, the oldest and embracing the challenge of disabled student. I teach equally to all.
In conclusion to volunteering and how it changed my life…well… I guess it was every time, a student learned a new English word or wrote a sentence, it taught me that they depended on me and that I contributed to the development of their personality. That I’m important in their lives, and every time they accomplished a new word with success it gave me a sense of accomplishment. But most importantly, the students of Poland taught me to give.
Volunteering my time to teach conversational English was the best thing I have ever done in my life. It taught me that money will never be my motivation for working, that motivation for me will only come when I know I can make a difference in another person’s life.