2011/12/30 ~ 當學校志工有感 Thoughts about Volunteering at Justin's School

文章日期:2011-12-30 05:48
媽咪這個學期真的好忙喔,
主要是因為開始在大貝貝學校當志工~
每個禮拜在學校圖書館固定輪班一個早上,
有時候若圖書館有些活動或要開會也去幫忙,
所以真的常常會在學校出現捏~
(還好媽咪的翻譯工作性質比較彈性~~

I've been really quite busy this semester,
mostly because I've started volunteering at Justin's school.
Every week I'm on roster at the school library for one morning,
and sometimes I also help out with library events or meetings,
so I do appear very frequently at the school!
(Fortunately my translation work allows this kind of flexibility~)

其實媽咪一直覺得家長參與校園/班級事務很重要,
但去年迷你貝還很小,媽咪沒辦法脫身,
而且老實說大貝貝的舊學校(和老師)感覺也比較不歡迎家長太參與(干涉)~
今年轉學後,新學校非常希望(也需要)多些志工媽媽協助各項事務,
迷你貝也稍微大一點,
比較可以跟著阿公阿媽久一點的時間,
另一方面有了去年比較不好的經驗,
媽咪決定今年一定要早早就多關注學校和老師們到底在幹什麼!~

I've always felt that it's important for parents to participate in school/class affairs,
but last year Benji was too small for me to have much spare time,
and frankly Justin's old school (and teacher) didn't seem to welcome too much parent involvement (interference) either~
After transferring to a new school this year,
the new school really wanted (and needed) more volunteer mothers to help out,
and Benji is also old enough to spend more time with grandparents.
Besides, because of the.... not so pleasant experience last year,
I decided that I must keep a closer eye on what the school and the teachers are doing this year!

當志工真的很好玩,
也讓人很有成就感呢~
每個禮拜去都覺得有很多事情可以做,
也參與了一些新決策的設計與推動,
看著學校能夠更加擴大圖書館的功能,
讓小朋友們更能樂於閱讀與自發性學習,
真的是令人很開心的事情!

In fact it's a lot of fun being a volunteer,
and I got a great deal of satisfaction from it!
There are a lot of things for us to do every week,
and I was also involved in the design and implementation of some new decisions.
It makes one really happy to see the school fulfilling better the functions of a library,
and to inspire more reading and self-motivated learning from the children.

大貝貝說:有媽咪在圖書館當志工真的很好......
因為每次有新活動他都可以第一個知道,
一下課就可以率領班上同學搶先過去參加!

And Justin says: it's great to have Mummy volunteering at the library....
because he always gets to know first-hand whenever something new is on,
and he can run over with his classmates as soon as the break bell rings!

************************

我們家爸比也被媽咪拖下水,
一開始是被報名幫忙英語闖關活動,
後來又協助英語補救教學,
然後開了一場研習課教其他家長使用平板電腦上的教育功能,
跟學校討論如何將平板電腦運用在學校教學中,
最近更要將我們的英文教學理念試用在團體英語補救教學上,
看看能不能讓小學階段的英語教學更有效率~

Daddy also got roped in by me:
at first he got "volunteered" for the English Challenge Activity,
and then he agreed to help out with remedial English lessons for children.
THEN he put together a seminar showing other parents the educational apps available on tablet computers,
and discussed with the school about ways to incorporate tablets in lesson programs.
Now he will even try out our English teaching concepts in group remedial classes,
to see if we can make English teaching at the primary school level more effective.

原本爸比對於「志工服務」沒什麼興趣,
也不了解為什麼會有人想當志工~
實際參與後,爸比發現:「原來志願服務的過程中,
我們自己也是很大的受惠者~」

Originally Daddy had not much interest in "volunteering",
nor did he understand why anyone would do things on a pro bono basis.
After actually trying it, he realised:
"We ourselves actually benefited the most from the volunteering process!"

由於參與英語補救教學,
讓爸比更深入的思考小學階段的英語如何可以更有效率的教學,
如何提升孩子們的學習動機~
思考的過程中,當然就是先抓大貝貝和小貝貝來試教啦!
於是大貝貝的英文持續的進步,
幼稚園老師也特別說小貝貝的英文閱讀能力最近進步好多喔!

Because of his involvement in English remedial classes,
Daddy thought more deeply about how English at primary school level can become more effective,
and how to enhance the motivation of children.
This contemplation naturally meant getting Justin and Audrey to try out test lessons!
So Justin's English continues to improve,
and even Audrey's teachers at kindie remarked on her improvements lately!

為了開平板電腦教育功能的研習課,
爸比花了很多時間找尋相關資料,
也因此更加提升了自己對於平板電腦的了解以及教學運用~
(很多都必須看英文網頁或論壇,
所以台灣家長真的有些障礙~~

In order to produce the seminar on educational tablets,
Daddy spent a lot of time researching related information,
which also improved greatly his own understanding of tablets as well as their possible uses in education.
(Much of this research is based on English websites or forums,
which would probably be somewhat difficult for many Taiwanese parents~)

由於爸比本身有很長的兒童英語教學經驗,
其實有很多概念和方法能夠與校方分享,
很幸運的我們的學校教務處和輔導室都非常熱情、積極,
非常愛所有的孩子,
也很願意與家長溝通、協調改變,
所以讓參與的志工都覺得「就感心ㄟ」~~

Daddy actually has many ideas and methods to share with the school,
since he has been teaching English to young children for many years.
We're lucky in that the school's counselling department and teaching department are both very positive and proactive,
very loving to all the children,
and very open to communication and cooperation with parents.
The positive attitude of the school makes all volunteers feel even more "welcomed"!

*********************

以公立小學來說,
我們的小小學校算是很特殊,
因為校園中有蠻高比例的外籍學童,
或有國際背景(例如從海外歸國)的家長~
(大概是這樣的家長比較容易認同希望讓孩子以更寬廣、更開放的方式成長,
不會把升學成績放在唯一或第一位,
而剛好校方的政策也是這樣的走向~

For a Taiwanese public school,
our little school is actually somewhat unusual,
in that we have a relatively higher percentage of children with foreign nationalities,
or parents with multicultural backgrounds (such as returning from overseas).
(It is probably because this kind of parents is more likely to want children to grow up with more room and openness,
and would not consider grades to be the only or the most important focus;
it so happens that the school's policies are also more in line with these "open learning" ideas~)

這樣的狀況之前都沒有什麼問題,
因為通常這些家庭都至少有一位說中文的家長,
可以協助輔導孩子的課業和校園生活~

This multiculturalism has not had too many problems before,
because most of these families had at least a Chinese-speaking parent,
who were able to help with the children's homework and school life~

但這個學期,有兩名純粹外籍的孩子來到我們學校就讀三年級,
一名英國籍,只會說英文,
一名瑞士籍,只會說德文,
文化和語言衝擊造成班級導師和輔導室好一陣子的人仰馬翻~
輔導室和愛心媽媽花了很多時間提升孩子的中文程度,
後來英國籍的孩子由於適應問題,
經校方、家長討論後(媽咪幫忙居中翻譯)降到二年級(剛好跟大貝貝同班),
現在就適應多了~

But this semester we had two entirely "non-Taiwanese" children coming to 3rd grade at the school,
one is British, speaking only English,
and the other is Swiss, speaking only German.
The cultural and linguistic shocks caused quite an upheaval amongst the homeroom and counselling office teachers~
The counselling office and one volunteer mother spent many hours helping to improve the children's familiarity with basic Chinese.
The British child had some difficulty adjusting,
so after a discussion between the mother and the school (I helped with interpretation),
the child was transferred to second grade (and happens to be in Justin's class now).
He's now much happier there.

有鑑於最近這些輔導的經驗,
學校的家長會決定在麾下設立一個「多元文化家長聯誼會」,
讓學校多元文化背景的家長有個共同的溝通管道,
互相扶持、討論、分享經驗和資訊,
也更方便協助校方規劃未來與多元文化家庭更好的互動~

In light of these recent counselling experiences,
the school's PTA decided to form a "Multicultural Parents Association" under its wing,
so that multicultural parents of the school will have a common channel of communication,
will be able to support each other, discuss news and events,
and share experiences and information.
It will also help the school to plan better interactions with multicultural families in the future.

結果..... 媽咪本來是去多元家長茶會吃吃喝喝,
還在吃餅乾就忽然被推舉為聯誼會的會長和家長代表了~
可能是家長會和我們的志工隊隊長覺得媽咪除了語言能力以外,
還有足夠的雞婆個性吧~

And...... I was only going to the multicultural parents morning tea for the snacks,
but while snacking I suddenly got nominated as the association's new chairman and parents' representative!
Probably because the PTA and our volunteers team leader thought that in addition to linguistic abilities,
I am also the more busy-body type!

外籍學童除了語言上的溝通問題比較明顯外,
其實還有很多文化上的差異問題,
這些常常是學校或家長未必察覺的~
例如英國籍孩子通常文化上比較內斂、比較「慢熟」、
覺得中文會講錯很丟臉,所以不願意講話等等~
這些表達方式跟我們台灣較熟悉的熱情美國籍孩子有很大的不同,
也很容易讓學校和老師誤以為孩子不願配合、不友善~

Children of other nationalities, besides the more obvious language barrier,
actually also experiences cultural shocks,
that may not always be noticeable to the school or even to parents.
For example, British children tend to be culturally more introverted, 
and "slower" to build up a relationship;
they might feel less inclined to speak, 
because they feel embarrassed getting the Chinese wrong.
This kind of self-expression differs greatly from the American children Taiwan is more used to,
and sometimes the school and teachers may erroneously interpret it to mean the child is uncooperative or unfriendly.

而外籍家長因為中文能力有限,
也較不容易跟校方和老師互動,
常常學校和家長會的通知細節無法了解,
因為通知都是中文的~

And due to the limited Chinese ability of multicultural parents,
they may also experience difficulties in communicating with the school and teachers.
They are frequently unable to understand the details of notices from the school and the PTA,
since all the notices are in Chinese.

嗯.... 為什麼媽咪這麼雞婆、願意當多元文化家長代表?
當然也是有些個人的因素啦~
媽咪小時候曾經在英文能力是零的狀況下,
去國外的小學就讀,
所以很能切身體會小孩由於父母各種原因的選擇,
而必須孤身想辦法適應一個不同語言、不同文化、陌生同儕的學習環境~
當時國外學校的輔導制度給了媽咪很大很大的幫助,
所以媽咪也希望現在當自己有能力、有機會時,
也能夠運用自己特別的經驗幫助從國外來到我們台灣的小孩,
讓地球村的孩子們更快的適應我們的國家和校園~

Ummm, so why am I nosy enough to serve as the multicultural parents' representative?
Of course there are some personal factors involved.
As a child, I had attended a foreign primary school while my English ability was zero,
so I can relate thoroughly to a child who is moved to a learning environment with a completely different language, different culture, and different peers,
just on the parents' say-so for whatever well-meant reasons.
The counselling system in the foreign school back then had helped me a great deal,
so now that I have the ability and the opportunity,
I hope that I can utilise my special background in helping children coming to Taiwan fro overseas,
so that these global children can adapt more quickly to our country and our school.

大家最終的目的都是希望每個孩子能夠快快樂樂的享受學習時光,
而隨著台灣的國際化,
這樣的多元家庭(尤其在台北)似乎也越來越多~
其實我們學校的小朋友也都蠻喜歡有不同文化的同學一起交流,
據說未來還有規劃國際間的交換學生呢,令人期待!~
所以媽咪會希望能夠慢慢協助學校發展出一套制度,
幫助未來的外籍學童、家長更完善的融入校園生活,
也讓學校能夠更有機會運用這樣的多元文化資源~

Every one of us' ultimate goal is always to help every child enjoy this time of learning,
and as Taiwan becomes more and more internationalised,
this kind of multicultural families seems to increase in number (especially in Taipei).
In fact children from our school also enjoy having friends from different cultures,
and we hear that there may even be exchange student programs in the future.
That would be something to look forward to!
So I hope that I can gradually assist the school to develop a system,
whereby multicultural students and parents in the future can adapt to the school much better,
and also to enable the school to tap into these multicultural resources.

**********************

台灣由於雙薪家庭很多,工作時間又長,
再加上我們比較沒有「做白工」的傳統,
所以跟歐美比起來,
很多台灣學校的志工參與度偏低,
這是很可惜的現象~

In comparison with American and Europe,
Taiwan does not really have a tradition of parents "volunteering" at schools, 
partly because both parents have to work in most families,
the work hours tend to be really long,
and also because we don't have the tradition of "working for free".
This is a real pity.

其實研究顯示,
一般來說,家長參與度高的學校,
教學、活動和校園生活品質也都會比較好~
原因不難理解:學校有許許多多的美意、規劃和活動都需要資源和人手,
學校永遠也就那幾位老師主任,
老師主任們平常還要教學、還有行政工作,
真的不可能面面俱到~

In actual fact, research shows that in general,
schools with higher parent participation would also be higher in educational, event and school life quality.
The reason for this is not difficult to understand:
a school needs a great deal of resources and manpower for ideas, plans and events,
but the school has only so many teachers and directors,
who not only have to teach every day but also have to deal with administrative work.
They really cannot do everything by themselves.

但學校的規劃和活動幫助的是誰?
當然是每個小朋友啦!~
學校能夠支配的人力越多,
能夠推動的計畫越多、完整度越高,
受惠的永遠是每個在學的小朋友~

But who are the school's plans and events actually helping?
The children, of course!
The more manpower a school is able to commandeer,
the more quantity and better quality the school's plans can be.
And the children are beneficiaries of this positive cycle.

從我們圖書館最近的經驗就知道了~
去年圖書館因為莫名的原因,只有3名志工媽媽,很難辦事;
今年有大約15名志工媽媽,
所以我們這學期辦的幾個活動都全校小朋友叫好又叫座,
讓全體志工媽媽們得意不已,
而跟我們配合的教務處老師們也就更願意接受更大型的活動企劃了~
(而且會計室也會更願意掏腰包支援預算~~~

We see this from the recent experiences of the school library.
Last year, for various reasons, the library had only 3 volunteer mothers, 
and were sadly unable to do very much;
this year we have about 15 volunteers, 
so the several events we organised this year were all extremely well received by the children,
which gave us volunteer mothers no end of self-satisfaction!
The teachers cooperating with us are naturally now more willing to accept bigger plans!
(Not to mention the accounting office becoming more willing to support our budgets....)

再加上家長若多參與學校事務,
就能比較了解學校生活的各個層面,
能夠促進學校和家長雙方隨時的良性溝通,
比較不會發生家長來學校都只是因為孩子搗蛋來被訓話的感覺~

Further, if parents were more involved with daily affairs with the school,
they will be more familiar with all aspects of the school,
which promotes positive communication between the school and parents at all times.
Parents are less likely to feel that they only come to school when their children are in trouble.

就媽咪爸比這幾個月來個人的感想,
我們仔細思考起來,
「三人行必有一師」、「教學相長」,
在我們幫助他人的同時,
最終受惠的真的也是我們自己和我們的孩子呢~

Based on our experiences in recent months,
when we really think about it,
as the Chinese proverb says: "Whenever there's a threesome, there's always a teacher",
and "you learn as you teach".
When we are helping other people,
we are ultimately really helping ourselves and our children!
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