My school, Fountainhead came up with a very appreciable activity and that is of a service session, where underprivileged children are invited to our school so that they can learn many different activities such as- Basketball, Football, Arts, Dance, IT and many more. My school gave all the students a great opportunity i.e. we could volunteer in this service session and be a part of this greatness. Many students including me filled the form and chose the activity that they will be volunteering in, I prefered basketball over any other activity as I have enough skills and I hold a lot of experience as well. A lot of students volunteered in the activity because of which there were four batches in total and each batch was packed with six sessions and they were conducted on 3 continuous weekends. Each session had many children to participate (learners) because of which we divided ourselves further into groups of 4-5 so that we can pay close attention on everyone, these groups continued till the end of the batch.
The learning outcomes met:
L3: Initiate and plan a CAS experience.
To train someone the most important part as a teacher is planning the activity and that’s what my group and I did before the service session started. In our first meeting we were able to plan the first three sessions and we decided that our strategy for the best outcome will be to polish the skills by continuously repeating it. We started off with basics like dribbling and passing and on the third day we taught them how to shoot the ball properly and in the correct position. We paid special attention to ones who were lacking behind and they were taught at a slower pace so that they can also learn and develop the required skills. For the 4th session we planned that we will teach them how to do lay-ups and for the last 2 sessions we planned that we would give them more of a game experience, for this first we explained them the rules of teh game and then we made them play a match between each other and we as couches divided ourselves into teams and guided them altogether as a team.
L4: Commitment to and perseverance.
At first I was very doubtful as to will I be able to give my hundred percent to the session as teaching beginners is always difficult, but I didn’t let it invade my stand to train the children and pay close attention to everything they were required to do. We soon realised that we need to stick to the plan we made for the best outcome and to do that a lot of commitment was required. We tried to get perfection in teaching them by clearing each and every doubt they had even the smallest and the most silliest ones. We as learners also did mistakes but we tried our best to do minimum mistakes so that they get to learn the correct skills. Finally, we were able to teach them how to play basketball and our perseverance helped us a lot to motivate ourselves.
L5: Demonstrate skills and benefits of working collaboratively.
To guarantee we arranged and executed the sessions effectively we needed to ensure that we worked collaboratively to accomplish our goal. All of us weren’t able to attend all the meetings because of their own personal reasons and to tackle that we required a lot of communication skills. We revised the ones who missed the meeting and requested their conclusions and if everybody agreed to the decisions made, then we moved ahead to plan the coming session. During the session we helped each other if any of us did something wrong and always motivated each other to accomplish our goal, also we all took initiative to manage ourselves as well as others politely and respectfully. In addition, we had to manage many children and it would not be possible to handle all the children hence we decided that in every session three people will demonstrate and the others will observe the children and help them learn from their mistakes, we also decided that everyone will have 3 sessions where they will observe and other three where they will demonstrate making it a fair play. Working collaboratively helped us handle the children easily.
L7: Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions.
During this activity, my behaviour and actions played a major role. We were working with underprivileged children who had a different background and lifestyle than us. Hence it was important for me to be more cautious about my actions so that I did not hurt their feelings or make them feel inferior than me. I made sure I treated them in a friendly and more approachable manner so that they would not feel shy learning from me. We had to make sure that we brought the best out of them by treating them fairly and giving them equal opportunities to excel in the sport and this was an ethical choice to make. By being fair and creating a more friendly environment for them we helped them feel comfortable as well as confident.
Learner profiles experienced:
As the activity included a huge number of volunteer as well as participates a lot of communication took place in form of discussion while we were dividing groups also while planning the drills which would enhance a specific skill set. A lot of communication took place between me and the children as I was required to explain them everything because they were all having their first attempts. A major problem created was that most of the children just knew Gujarati and I rarely speak Gujarati but still I tried my best to communicate with them.
The set of children for whom I was responsible were all from slum area also their hygiene was really low but this didn’t distract me from my goal which was to train those children and give them a new experience. While the planning of the sessions were taking place there were a lot of suggestions by other volunteer and being the senior most player I required to hear each and every suggestion and think open mindedly so that we could create the best schedule possible.
Caring is when you display kindness and show concern for someone or something and this is what the service session is all about. To give them a facility of a huge variety of activities that they won’t be getting in their schools and providing them a platform where they can know their skills and enhance it.
During the training most of the drills performed were already mastered by me in my physical sports slot (P.S) because of which I was able to train them properly.
I believe that everyone should be balanced, they need to balance between sports and academics and this applies on me as well. Other than my P.S slots I wasn’t able to make a lot of time for sports and other activities so to balance that out this service session was the best opportunity. After completing even a single batch of the service session I felt very relieved as it was something different from my daily boring life.
This was a great CAS experience as it makes me feel more responsible and left me with a moral: “Stay happy with whatever you get”, as during the activity I had a feeling of how fortunate I am to have all these facilities in my daily life. In the end, it was a great pleasure to be a part of this service session and I’m thankful to our school (Fountainhead School) to provide me this opportunity.