Weekly Project Journal
Each week of the project, student must submit a project journal entry. The journal entry consists of three parts:
1. Description. What happened in your project this week? What did you do? Experience?
This week I worked with children at the childcare center. I taught the children how to recite the alphabet and we did some puzzle work that required the children to put the alphabet blocks in the right order. The blocks contained pictures of animals along with the letter so as to teach the kids by association. One of the girls brought homework from class which required her to connect numbers up to twenty by a certain interval E.G. connecting numbers on a line by two's. I helped her with this and she seemed to really grasp the material well. I then read the children a story which showed little children from all different countries. The main precept of the book was that all children sleep at night but I took the opportunity to show the kids the pictures in the back ground as well as where the countries were on the little map the book provided. It was fairly basic. I taught the kids that Egypt had many deserts and was quite dry and that Brazil had many rain forests like the Amazon in which all sorts of animals live. I taught them that parts of Norway like Svalbard were quite far north and that there is a University in Svalbard where the students carry guns to protect themselves from polar bears they thought that was neat. I then sat aside with two students in particular and showed them an encyclopedia of different animals.
My main experience this week was a feeling of accomplishing true service. I think at the end of the day I made sure that the children left with more knowledge of the world than they came there with. I thought if I was able to do that, I could make the problem of immigrant marginalization less of a problem by narrowing any possible education gaps.
2. Interpretation. What did you learn from your project this week? About the project? About the issue? About yourself?
From the experience I gained the knowledge that all kids, no matter what their background is, have the ability to learn, it just has to be brought out of them in different ways depending on the individual. This gave me major insight into the problem of immigrant marginalization in that it showed me clearly that the problem of immigrant marginalization is not caused by a lack of ability of immigrant children to learn and prosper, which I always suspected, it is about the opportunity to succeed or the lack thereof that immigrants have.
I also learned that my role as a child educator at neighborhood house must be not just be about learning about immigrant marginalization but also about narrowing the educational gap between immigrant children and children whose parents have been situated in America for a long time.
In addition I learned that I personally can educate small children fairly well. They take a genuine interest in the things I teach them and seem to have a lot of fun in the process.
3. Evaluation. How would you evaluate your work on the project this week? What grade would you give yourself? Are you accomplishing the objectives of the project? Your personal objectives?
I think this week went fairly well I am keeping in contact with my supervisor at neighborhood house about various opportunities helping the immigrant community in St. Paul and I think I am on my way to getting some of these things set up. I should be getting a very broad experience of the problem and not only am I accomplishing my scholastic and personal objectives in learning about the problem of immigrant marginalization but I am also making a marked difference in the lives of those I work with. As a result of this project so far I have made life a little better for some individuals hungry for food and education and in the process I have gained many things for myself. I have gained knowledge in interacting with people, and I have gained immense pride in knowing that I am successful at it. I give myself a B+.