University of Delaware Student Perspectives

Melissa:

I went to the LACC on Wednesday with the goal in mind to work with Erin and get answers to our questions for the final project. After being there for about 30 minutes, our goal of the night changed. We usually go into the computer room, so we know a lot of the kids in there, so we decided to start there. As we went around asking questions, it seemed that a lot of the kids were more involved in their games than in answering questions, so we decided to move into another room. We went next door into the tutoring room. We had one or two kids answer questions before we headed over to Walter. He looked so sad, being upset he had to do some homework. He asked if he could answer our questions. We did the interview with him. Then, he wanted us to help him with his work. As we did different lessons, he became more comfortable with us and started to listen to us. When we left him alone to figure some work out, and while interviewing another child, he wandered over to right next to me and mumbled "can you help me?" It was so nice to feel that we were helping this child out. That is the feeling that I am looking forward to when being a teacher; putting a smile on a child's face when they learn and understand something new. Walter helped me realize that I definitely want to be an elementary school teacher, even after some not so exciting experiences other times.

Matt:

I would say at the LACC my most positive thing is getting to know the children. I love when I go in and the children run up to me and want me to go play with them. The thing I don't like that much is the children really don't take authority to well. If you try to tell them to something they donít listen and do what they want.

Megan:

My favorite thing about the LACC is when I am about to leave and the kids hold on to me and beg me not to. It is the best feeling because it makes me think that I impact their lives and they need me. One thing I am uncomfortable with is the language barrier. I took 4 years of Spanish in high school so I know it pretty well. I was doing an interview with a little girl and she barely spoke English so it made the process a little difficult!

Christine:

The thing I enjoyed most was getting to know these kids and gain perspective of where they come from. Itís not easy to grow up in a city where there are so many negative influences and things to hold you back rather than push you forward. As a future teacher this experience will definitely help me relate with students coming from this background. One thing that I did not like so much about the LACC was not knowing the expectations of us from the university from the staff @ the LACC. Far too often we were reprimanded for doing things or either not doing things. We were never really told rules and regulations, but yet we were expected to know & follow them.

Jaime:

The thing I enjoyed most at the LACC was seeing the faces of the kids I worked with all the time when I came in. I worked with Luis, Miguel, and Angel a lot. They were always so happy when I walked in. It made me feel happy that I was taking the time to go and hang out with them. I am really going to miss their smiling faces. Sometimes when I was having a bad day, I would walk into the LACC and see how excited the kids were to see me, and it would turn my frown into a smile!

Erin:

What I enjoyed most about going to the LACC was seeing the reactions on the kidís faces when we did something that they were happy or proud about. It is great to feel wanted by them and to feel like you have really helped them and the appreciated it even if it just sitting and playing a game or watching them on the computer.

Alicia:

The thing I enjoyed most about the LACC was seeing the kids and seeing how excited they were to see us. I loved how some of the little girls hung on to me when we'd get ready to leave. It is the cutest thing. I also enjoyed getting to know people from different backgrounds since I grew up in a pretty sheltered environment.

 

Courtney:

My favorite thing about the LACC experience was that we got a chance to work with children directly rather than through textbooks, which is too often the way it works in college. I also enjoyed the fact that kids were from a different culture. It gave me a chance to experience that culture directly and even be taught by the children. I felt as if we made the kids feel important and their culture valuable. One of my favorite nights was when Bernice, a little girl who knew hardly any English, taught me how to count in Spanish. Then she gave me a hug. I felt like we had overcome the language barrier, and that it wasn't a barrier at all, but a way to connect.

Alexis:

 

My favorite thing about the LACC is the positive energy that the younger children give out. They are always happy and upbeat, and make you feel like you are enhancing their time at the LACC.

Jen:

 

The thing I enjoyed the most about the LACC came from gaining a new perspective of what these kids lives are like.  At first I really thought it was going to be too time-consuming and something I was just had to do for a requirement. But after a few weeks it became something totally different for me. You leave knowing you made such an impact on the kids. They will hang all over you, tell you not to leave, and ask you when you are coming back. You are someone they can look up to and they consider a friend. It is great knowing I made such a huge difference in the little time I put in each week going to the LACC. There is only one thing about the LACC that made me a little uncomfortable. This was the comments I got from some of the older kids. It was a little harder for me to relate to them. A few times they said some suggestive things to me and some of the other girls. Overall, my experience at the LACC was great. It was a great opportunity and I will miss the kids a lot!

Kidís Perspectives

Erin (interviewing Luis):

When I asked what he had learned at the LACC I was expecting an answer like how to play a sport or work on the computers. Instead he said to be friends with people, to use nice words when talking with others, and how to be respectful. To me I think those answers are very mature and not the type of answers I would expect from a 10 year old. Luis said that he really likes the program and the LACC. He likes that he has people that will help him with his homework. He also likes that there are people he can go to if he has a problem and they will help him solve his problem. Luis really likes when the University of Delaware students come to the LACC. He likes that we are there to answer questions and that he has someone to ask questions to. He also likes that the UD students help the kids with activities other than just homework. For example he likes when they help the kids play and win games both on the computer and board games.

Alexis (interviewing 14 year old girl):

Q: How do you like the UD students coming to the LACC? A: I like it; I don't really do anything with you guys because I am older. I guess if I need help with my work I can ask one of you.

Q: Do the UD students coming here affect you at all? A: Not really, I think the younger kids like you guys better.

[This is just one example of older kids at the LACC.  As a class, this year, you might want to focus on how to engage the older kids from the beginning.  Maybe you could try to form a bond with them from the start.]

Margaux (interviewing Felipe):

I interviewed Felipe who is 12 years old and a sweet, innocent kid. He said he likes the LACC over all but the things he likes most about it is that he can play basketball in the gym, he builds computers, he can get help with his homework, the art room and the sex program Kiana and I did. He didn't like the first PE teacher because he didn't follow the schedule and would let the little kids in the gym while the older kids were up there. He said that if he could change anything, that there need to be more people working in the Homework room because there are always so many kids in there and only 2 people work there and they get overwhelmed. He said he really likes having us there because we are better and meant that we provide more activities for them to do. He said there isn't much to do when we aren't there. He said that we should teach the kids "cool games" so I asked him what kind of games and he said whatever games we play at college. I tried to think of some things that I would do in terms of games and I think it would be boring or hard games for little kids to play. He also said that they need a PlayStation 2, which would be something to have if they did have an adolescent room. Felipe said that we should help out more in the homework room because there aren't many people in there and that they would want help from us.

Megan (interviewing Nathaniel):

He said he has learned a lot at the LACC because before coming here he did not know very much about computers and now he can play many games on them and is even learning to build one himself. He says he likes the program because it is a place where he can hang out with his friends. Some of them have to go to the LACC because of their parents, but others come because it is safe and there are more things to do than if they were at home. Nathaniel said he likes when the UD students come to the LACC because it keeps the little kids busy. They chase us around instead of pestering him. He doesn't really talk to the UD students because he is always busy. I think this might be the attitude of most of the older kids. They don't care if we are there or not. I think that the classes next semester should really try and incorporate the older kids so they feel welcome and use us as a resource.

 

Jen (interviewing Carliany and Louis):

Carliany said she likes the LACC as it is and couldnít think of anything to improve. Carliany said she loves when the University of Delaware students come to see her because they play games with her. Louis said he enjoys us because we do nice things for him; we play in the gym with him, and "we are beautiful" haha. All of the kids seem to enjoy going to the LACC even if they do get bored at times. I think itís a great opportunity for them and gives them something fun and also safe to do after school.