This is the week when students' work in the community has to come all together. There are always a few students for whom things become complicated (a delayed background check, unanswered emails, etc.), but ensuring that students are set up with their partners by Week 2 makes the rest of the semester so much easier.
Which reminds me: have you seen the "complete guide" to setting up your Spanish community service learning course that I shared on my blog some time ago? I hope that it will help others with the nagging details that can sometimes decide whether or not a CSL course takes off or not.
Día 1, Semana 2
Class cancelled; orientations with the community partner.A few years ago, I decided that I had to give time in class for ensuring that students were set up for success in the community. Somehow I had the notion that if I wasn't "teaching" during class, I wasn't doing my job. Instead, giving students time to decide which partner to work with during the semester, to sign up on the wiki and to attend orientations is an investment in all the teaching I do afterward.
So I cancel class this time of every semester for community partner orientations. Students who work at the Refugee Center use our class time to attend an orientation at the Refugee Center. Other students need to follow their own community partner's instructions regarding orientations.
I use the time during cancelled class to go over our course wiki and make sure that students are all signed up and ready to with their CSL work.
Día 2, Semana 2
Class cancelled; mandatory attendance at talk by author of Illegal.It was odd to cancel classes two days in a row, but I had to take advantage of the opportunity for students listen to the author of this wonderful memoir who was speaking on our campus. I highly recommend the book (in English) to anyone who is doing community service learning work or who just wants to read a beautifully written memoir.
I'll paste below the email that I sent to students at the beginning of the week. It lays out the work of the second week of this and any CSL course: getting students over the hump of moving from campus to community. Additionally, it shares some links that you might find useful.
Hola. I am delighted to see that so many of you have already signed up for a community partner. ¡Gracias!
A few announcements/reminders about our wiki:
· If you have not yet signed up for your community partner, you need to do so by Monday. (Of course, if you have a problem, just let me know.)
· To sign up, use this wiki. To edit the wiki, you can either create an account at pbworks or submit a request for permission. When you submit a request for permission to edit, I receive an email and then grant you access. I check my email often, but you will not have an immediate response.
· For those of you who have not signed up yet, I would like to see you sign up for one of the schools or SOAR. In both settings you will learn a lot from the children. A lot! And with SOAR, you only have to sign up for one day, not two. (You can help a little before or after and still get your 28 hours.)
A few announcements/reminders about classes next week:
- We do not have class on Tuesday, January 23 or Thursday, January 25.
- On Tuesday, those who will work at the Refugee Center (East Central Illinois Mutual Assistance Center) go directly to the Refugee Center for a brief orientation at either 9:30 or 12:30. You can go at either time.
- Students who work at other organizations will follow their supervisors’ instructions about any necessary orientations.
- On Thursday, you will go to one of the events listed on our course calendar (a document you can find on our course Compass site).
- In preparation for those events, please take a look at the book description or even read a chapter or two. (The book is free online through our library. Just click on the “Books” tab and search for “Illegal reflections of an undocumented immigrant.”)
- Megan Gargiulo, who teaches SPAN 232 this semester will attend the noon event. Please sign in with her. I will attend the evening event. Please sign in with me.
Tomorrow I will send personalized emails to everyone about their work in the community. Enjoy your Saturday!
Ann Abbott, Director of Undergraduate Studies
Dept. of Spanish & Portuguese; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Office hours for Spring 2017: T/R at 11:00 in 4006 FLB, 217-333-6714
Why not study both Spanish and Portuguese?