Turning the Tables

Part of an International Baccalaureate (IB) degree is logging a certain amount of hours spent in the community and doing service.  It’s a pretty neat, well rounded program; even if the students sometimes volunteer because it’s a requirement, I believe that it does form good habits and a more healthy knowledge of the world outside of their bubble.


We incorporate an opportunity for them to serve as a homeroom class into our 7th grade curriculum.  Taking turns, we go out in shifts to work with the children in a nearby kampung, or poor neighborhood.


To prepare, my students planned lessons and games to provide to the the different grade levels that would be present.  They came up with some really creative ideas, in addition to the always-favorite Uno 🙂


Once there, it was so encouraging and challenging for me to see my students thriving in ways that I am not usually able to observe.

One of my students that tends to be apathetic about classwork was so involved with the kids – they were hanging off of him from the second we walked in the door!

Another student, who struggles in English, had risen to the position of leader because of his Bahasa skills.

A girl who usually has a rather negative attitude was animated and full of energy to engage a young child.

Our students, who are the center of things back at our school, were doing their best to bring joy to these students who have so much less.


They were working together to serve someone outside of themselves – it was really a very inspiring thing to watch!  It was humbling for me, too, to have to rely on my students and on my partner to act as translators.  We all had to work together to pull this off, and were able to relate in a way that was more about all being a team than it was about being student and teacher.


I truly am blessed by these students!





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