I am in my second year of a Commerce/Liberal Studies degree, and have been involved with Compass for two terms. I heard about Compass during an O-Week campus tour, and it sounded like a great way to make a positive contribution to society. I feel like life has given me everything I’ve needed, and I really want to give something to my community in return. Working in schools also really complements my studies at University, giving me different perspectives on education.
I got involved in compass because working with kids seemed like it would be a lot of fun, but it has also been a great avenue for personal development and learning more about myself. I’ve learnt a lot about how differently kids see things from adults, and how to put myself in the shoes of the children and see things from their perspective. For example, when I read to the kids I need to be enthusiastic and draw their attention to things that they might enjoy, such as pictures in the books, in order to engage them.
The school that I have worked at has been really great – the teachers have been friendly and helpful, and I’ve learnt a lot of teaching skills from interacting with them. The students are lovely and willing to learn, and I really enjoy chatting about football with the boys. The Compass staff have been simply brilliant – they’re friendly and funny but also really constructive in their teaching and support. They seem very experienced in dealing with disadvantaged schools and the stories they tell us are really helpful.
The best thing about Compass for me has been walking into the school and seeing that the kids are happy to see me. When they do something especially well I give them a high-five, and its so rewarding to see how pleased they are to be encouraged. I really enjoy watching their literary skills develop, and knowing that I have helped them without taking anything in return is incredibly satisfying.