To gain hands-on experience in her field of study and at the same time explore her interest of working with children, Social Work student Lindsey Hathaway chose to take on a service-learning course this semester, securing a placement in the Early Child Care & Education program at the Development Center of the Ozarks (DCO). She recently spoke to a Citizenship and Service-Learning (CASL) staff about what it’s like to help teach and interact with a group of energetic toddlers.
Why did you choose to serve at the DCO?
I was referred by someone from a previous job and I love working with children.
How has your service-learning experience been so far?
It has been good. I’ve learned new things about teaching children.
What have you learned from doing service-learning?
I’ve learned that teachers really do work hard on discipline with children. For example, the two-year-olds I work with have been taught how to sit and wait quietly before doing activities.
What kind of work do you do at the DCO?
I help entertain the children while the teacher is getting things prepared. I also clean, assist with nap time and gather things from other classrooms.
What is one of the most interesting projects you’ve helped with / what do you enjoy most about working at the DCO?
I really enjoy interacting with the children. It’s fun to see how they interact with one another. I also had the pleasure to help them with their art time. I worked with two children on their colors and numbers during the art project.
How have you managed to balance service-learning with your studies and part-time job?
I set aside one day a week, sometimes two, to do my service-learning. It has worked out very well.
What advice would you have for students who are considering doing service-learning?
Get involved with an organization that you would actually enjoy working in.