Maddie talks about how she has been dealing with an internship done entirely online and working from home – when she would otherwise have expected to be in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia working with disadvantaged local children. The experience is challenging for everyone but the attitude of the kids has made it a lot more fulfilling than she expected…
My name is Maddie and I am currently studying Politics with Economics (BSc) at the University of Bath.
The experience of teaching young children online has been both exciting and challenging.
Walking into this online internship I didn’t really know what to expect or how to adapt to an online setting; however, as we progressed through the programme and got to know everyone involved, especially the children, the work really flowed.
The dedication and willingness to learn from the students was really motivating and helps you forget the obstacles of the technology and can make you feel like you are really there.
What I found most challenging in this experience was to consistently find activities and exercises that engaged the children through a screen. It can sometimes be difficult to keep the attention of children at a young age, nevertheless as the students got more comfortable it became easier to get to know them and how they learnt best; as well as creating a bond with them.
This made it a very gratifying experience as everyone must make an extra effort to connect with one another.
In addition, with the global pandemic there was some unavoidable issues with creating a stable class at first. With COVID-19 things can change over-night and everyone must be prepared to adapt to the circumstances.
Although we began with 3 classes that totaled 15 students, after restrictions were applied some modifications had to be made where we ended up with 2 classes with 8 students in total.
It was incredible to see the commitment of the children who were dialing us from home as well as the excitement to learn of those at Rumah Aman.
The progress shown by the children has been outstanding; and their level of confidence has shot up. It has been such a pleasure to work alongside great professionals and to have taught and learnt from amazing children.
I am very grateful and excited to have been part of this programme and cannot wait to visit the children one day!