Archive | October 2014

Really understanding why things are

Great feedback and reflection from a first semester leader:

Q: Students lead in U:PASS for a wide variety of reasons – to mentor, to gain leadership skills, to improve communication skills, to get educational experience, to see what it’s like working for UTS. What’s something you feel you have gained in one (or more) of these areas over the last fortnight? Why? (You may also choose another area if you wish!) 🙂

A: I think I am improving myself to become a better person, sounds weird but I mean it.

Before I became a U:PASS leader, if I really got confused with some questions in calculations, I would simply make my brain to memorise the processes mandatorily without knowing a ‘why’, I would persuade myself, ‘deal with it, that’s just the way it should be. I get the right answer anyway.’ This may also reflect my personality of being too free, if I can achieve the same purpose, I would avoid any difficulties or troubles and pick the easiest way. Being able to choose the easiest way to achieve a goal is good, but if I do the questions for the purpose of only getting the right answers, this seems like beginning at the wrong end. I should do the questions for the purpose of learning something, and getting the right answers is only a way of proving that I understand the things I am learning.

In the U:PASS, since I cannot force students to accept things they do not understand, I need to find a way to make them understand, this is on the basis of I really know the stuff well. Everytime before the U:PASS, I would think what problems students may have and how could I response to make them understand. Just like what we are told in the training, we learn from students, and now I cannot agree more.

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I’m not even needed anymore

From a leader:

Q: Students lead in U:PASS for a wide variety of reasons – to mentor, to gain leadership skills, to improve communication skills, to get educational experience, to see what it’s like working for UTS. What’s something you feel you have gained in one (or more) of these areas over the last fortnight? Why? (You may also choose another area if you wish!) 🙂
A: My biggest educational experience this fortnight was that I’ve done my job so well that I’m not even needed by my students anymore! In today’s session we formed a large table and the 10 students sat together around it. One of the students who has attended every week, who typically stresses out that she struggles with the material, knew all the answers to the questions and was teaching her peers all the concepts. The other students actually clapped and cheered her when she was getting everything right. One student said to her “you could teach the class”. I had a big smile on my face that the students had formed such good bonds with each other and also at the progress this particular student has made.