Category Archives: Service and Action

MYP Service As Action

How did you become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?
2016 CAS Week – Cambodia

Through various service activities, I’ve become more aware of my own strengths and areas for growth. For example, while creating lesson plans for kids in Cambodia, I realized that I had good collaboration and organization skills. I listened to my peers for their ideas and made sure everything was written out so we would know what to do during the lesson. However, something that I could continue to improve on would be my leadership skills, and being more assertive in my decision making.

How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?
2016 CAS Week – Cambodia

By undertaking challenges and putting myself in unfamiliar situations, I’ve developed new skills, such as collaboration and organization. For example, during CAS Week in Cambodia, one of the service activities was creating a lesson plan to teach English to a group of kids. This was something that I had never done before so I found it challenging to come up with a lesson plan that was both engaging and effective. Through this experience, I was able to develop organization skills as I had to make sure everything would run smoothly during the lessons, and also creative thinking skills as I tried to come up with creative lesson plans and games that the kids would enjoy.  

How did you discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities?
2016 CAS Week – Cambodia

I discussed, evaluated and planned student-initiated activities while creating the lesson plans in Cambodia with a few other students. We kept revising and editing the lesson plan based on what went well and what didn’t each time, constantly striving to improve it. When something went wrong that day, we would modify our lesson plan to avoid making the same mistake the next day. We made sure we communicated well by sitting down each night to go over the next day’s lesson plan, and also helped each other generate new ideas.

How did you persevere in action?
First Aid Certification

To obtain my first aid qualification, I completed a 30 hour course over 4 days and also a final examination. I found this challenging at times as they were all new ideas to me and there was a lot of information to remember for the exam. However, I persevered even when I was getting tired throughout the course and continued to practice the required skills. It was also helpful that I did the course with one of my friends, so we were able to motivate and encourage each other. In the end, I successfully passed the exam and now have a valid first aid license.

How did you work collaboratively with others?
2015 CAS Week – Laos | 2016 CAS Week – Cambodia

During my CAS trip to Laos, I participated in a project which helped build a classroom for a high school. Throughout this process, I worked with other students from our school and local students to complete the task. As it was manual labor work, it was important that we collaborated and helped each. For example, while laying the bricks, we had to help each other make sure the wall was levelled and that everything was going to be stable enough. Similarly, in Cambodia I also had to work collaboratively with my peers to build the house for a family as most of the tasks required 2 people to work together.

How did you develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding?
2015 CAS Week – Laos | 2016 CAS Week – Cambodia

During the home stays in Laos, I had to communicate with the host families despite our language barrier. To overcome this challenge, we tried to use forms of communication that did not rely much on verbal communication. For example, we used hand gestures to communicate basic things. Although it was difficult to communicate with the locals, I still found myself getting along well with some of the local students and understanding their culture more. During the CAS trip to Cambodia, one part of the service was teaching kids english. This changed the way I thought about the world as it really made me realize how important education is to breaking the poverty cycle. Without proper education, it would be difficult for them to find a good job and provide for their family when they grow older.

How did you consider the ethical implications of your actions?
2016 CAS Week – Cambodia

Although I recognize that it is important for kids in developing countries to learn english in order to break the poverty cycle, I realized that at the same time we would be slowing taking them away from their local cultures and traditions, as throughout the generations they may slowly lose knowledge of their native language. Also, since their past generations have all had the same way of life (i.e. farming), giving them the chance to find the new job may break the family “traditions”.