Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thought for the day: "Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation." Submitted by Cyndi.

Day one of the ten days began with our team meeting at 7:45 AM where we read the journal from our orientation and arrival activities. At 9:00 we gathered in the lobby and received our room assignments for the classes and launched into our time with students. We worked with the students until 10:30 and then combined with another team for the last two hours of class. Both the single and double teams seemed pleased with the arrangement.

After lunch eight of us spent time with the students on a nearly four hour hike in the Tatra National Park. Dubbed by Teresa, the camp director, this was the “easiest hike” – seven gradual miles up and down the Strazy (can’t write Polish name correctly with an English keyboard) trail. Right!! I see more hikes in our future.

During reflection, after dinner, many successful teaching strategies were shared from our first attempts to teach these very bright capable students. Activities included basketball and word games, extemporaneous speaking, introductions, and sharing a high school year book. We know there will be challenges, but face the days ahead with optimism and confidence.

Submitted by Sue

Global Volunteers Team Journal Zakopane 2010

Thought for the Day: "God does not require that we succeed. God only asks that we serve." Mother Theresa.

Shared by Sue

Our team assembled at the Krakow airport on Saturday, June 26, and journeyed to Zakopane in a very comfortable bus. We arrived at Hotel Wanta and received our room assignments and then enjoyed a wonderful Polish evening meal. Meanwhile another driver was collecting two members of the team who had been led on adventures by their airlines. They were able to arrive in mid-evening and get settled in as well.
Several went out for walk, exploring Zakopane. All appeared to enjoy a good night’s sleep in the mountain air.

After a plentiful Polish breakfast, our team adjourned to the conference room. Dorota, our team leader, started the morning by reviewing the history and accomplishments of the Global Volunteers program in Poland, noting the program would be celebrating its 20th anniversary in October. We also reviewed the Global Volunteer working principles. Our next orientation task culminated with five team goals:

• To assist students to gain confidence in using their English skills;
• To discover Poland;
• To build understanding between cultures;
• To develop team synergy; and
• To grow personally.

The team identified the following team characteristics:

• Sharing ideas;
• Objectivity;
• Flexibility;
• Respect;
• Curiosity and openness;
• Patience;
• Taking advantage of our different skills, ages, gender, and backgrounds; and
• Sense of humor.

We discussed teaching materials team members had brought with them and reviewed the teaching materials provided by Global Volunteers.

After a delicious lunch, we took a walk with the students and the Prus High School teachers to the Villa Atma.

Then we went to the wooden church and old cemetery. Some of the team members took a short walk to a nearby church and attended Mass. Others gathered at the Milka Festival stage and enjoyed the dance activities there.

After kolacja, we were welcomed to Poland by the camp director and met the teachers who are here with us, acting as camp counselors. Then we each met our group of students and planning for the first day of teaching began.

Submitted by Lori

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New English Lab at Cisie School

Thanks to the generosity of sponsors through Global Volunteers Sponsorship Program, the students from the elementary school in Cisie have a brand new English language lab. The funds donated by our sponsors were used for purchasing the appropriate furniture for the classroom (such as desks, chairs, white board, bookcases and bookshelves), the audio equipment, as well as teaching supplies and English language textbooks. The students are thrilled to study English in such a well equipped and supplied language lab. Please enjoy the pictures of this new classroom!

Millenium Development Goals achieved (May 8-29, 2010)

Four volunteers taught for five hours a day. 280 hours of the English language instruction were provided to 400 students. 5 elementary schools and 2 middle school were impacted. The volunteers also conducted classes for 5 local teachers, as well as 2 other adult community members.