Last Summer I worked for A.C.L.E, an educational association in Italy, teaching English to Italian Children in Summer Camps. I was based just outside Milan, with a class of ten 5-7 year olds and the daunting task of trying to make them understand me! Despite having worked with children before, I had no real teaching experience and was really anxious that my lack of experience would be a problem, but after the week-long TEFL Introduction course, I was provided with materials, songs, game ideas, and enthusiasm, and felt ready to face anything.
For two weeks, I sang, danced, drew, painted, played, constructed and generally left my dignity at the door with these kids to make it as fun as possible for them. At (numerous) times it was frustrating and it felt like I was having absolutely no effect on them whatsoever, and it was exhausting being so active all day everyday in humid, 34 degree Milan in the middle of July. Then, on the last day of camp we had to perform a show to the childrens’ parents, and that was the moment that it all came together – the costumes that I had made in class with the children looked amazing, they remembered every word in English, and their parents were all so proud with what their babies had achieved. I realised that I had actually made an impact on them and felt how rewarding teaching is, for the first time.
Working in Summer Camps with ACLE was one of the most enjoyable, challenging, and rewarding things I have done. They’re currently hiring tutors for Summer 2012 and I would recommend the experience to anyone.
Nicki, 24, Italy