When you walk into the second grade classroom, there is a bulletin board about the various attitudes that are conducive to a healthy learning environment. From the photo, examples of these attitudes include respect, enthusiasm, empathy, and integrity among many others. Not only are these qualities important for the students in the development of their character, they are also crucial for tutors and other community volunteers to possess as well.
These sheets of paper are posted all throughout the school on bulletin boards in the hallways as well as at the main entrance. I was actually surprised that these kids were already learning very advanced words that I feel like I learned in middle school! One word that stands out to me the most is integrity; I see it everywhere, which suggests that it is something that is stressed a lot at Garden Hills. Telling the truth is something that I find extremely important to working in the community for both volunteers and community members. By being honest with each other, we are then able to build rapport with each other, improve our relationship, and strengthen community unity.
Another word that caught my eye was respect. Respect is something that is stressed for children to learn, but I feel that it is even more so in the Latino community. Teaching children respect is not only for their elders, but for themselves and their fellow classmates as well. It is important for tutors to show respect for the people they work with and the new cultures that they are being exposed to. If my students ever tell me anything about their cultures that seem shocking to me, I try not to show that I am surprised but instead treat it as something interesting and something that I respect about their culture.
I think that the attitudes listed on the bulletin board are crucial for the development of strong individuals. They are also important qualities to have as a volunteer in the community. It is critical to be tolerant of others, respect their cultures, show empathy to them, and cooperate on tasks among all the other characteristics listed. Working in SOAR has helped me put these traits into effect and shown me how having them can help make a positive change with the people I work with.