Once again, two weeks in the summer of 2015 saw 20 enthusiastic Charismen haunt the classrooms, hallways and corridors of SK Seri Setia (SKSS). As ever, we were ready to expose these kids to the wonders of the English language through a good mix of out-of-the box classroom lessons and workshops incorporating grammar exercises masked as interactive murder mysteries, Katy Perry songs (adapted into ditties about synonyms and antonyms), silly dance routines, raucous story-telling sessions, attempting painstakingly hand drawn (then photocopied) worksheets,and so many other thrilling activities.
Our activities this year were inspired by the ‘Inspire Junior’ theme, so apart from inculcating a love for English we also aimed to introduce the students of SKSS to the concept of volunteerism and caring about society. For two weeks, we became instant school-wide celebrities as the new English teachers for Primary 1, 2 and 3. We were in charge of the English classes in the morning, and organized workshops for those in Primary 4 and 5 later in the evening. Having been given free reign by the school to conduct lessons and workshops however we saw best, there was nothing to impede our creativity. The workshops covered activities such as volcano-building exercises, ‘whodunnit’ mysteries and games carnivals.
In the course of these two weeks, UKECharisma also collaborated with World Vision, TeachForMalaysia and the United Learning Centre for Refugees. World Vision came down for an afternoon workshop to introduce the kids to the organisation, and to expose them to pressing global issues such as malnutrition. This session involved a video viewing, worksheets, drawing and a very well received game (by both students and volunteers) of “Super Chicken”. Teach4Malaysia organised a short teaching crash-course for us, in which they gave us many excellent tips on good lesson plan structuring and teaching techniques. Also, on the first weekend of the project we paid a trip to the refugee centre in Jalan Imbi, and for two hours we tutored the children in a subject of their choosing.
The two weeks passed by in an absolute whirlwind of teaching and workshop planning/executing. The project culminated in two performances held on the school’s Merdeka Day celebration. The kids did their rendition of “Wavin’ Flag”, and the volunteers’ special performance was a performance of “Synonyms and Antonyms”, an original song written by one of the volunteers to the tune of Katy Perry’s “Hot n Cold”.
Looking back, I am so grateful that I got to be part of such an amazing project, with amazing people. It was draining, physically and emotionally, but it was all worth it to see the joy in the students’ faces. We set out to teach and inspire others… but in doing so, we were also taught and inspired ourselves.
Volunteers Reflection (by Days):
Volunteers Reflection (Individual):