Communications class teaches at Center
Jillian Barwick | Monday, October 1, 2012
For some students at Saint Mary’s, class time on Thursday is now spent in a different type of environment – teaching guests at the South Bend Center for the Homeless.
“Public Communication,” holds classes for the guests at the Center and teaches them the basics of communication studies. After only three weeks spent at the Center, some students are already feeling a sense of learning for themselves and their guests.
Senior Tara Fulton said has already noticed how working at the Center is a wonderful experience for herself and her group members.
“This Thursday will be our fourth class visit, and we are very excited to continue on with the process. The veterans that come to our class every week are very enthusiastic, and always willing to participate,” she said. “I think that the veterans’ participation and enthusiasm has really made us the students as a group feel good about teaching the class.
It seems like the veterans truly enjoy the class, and are gaining better communication skills after every class.”
Throughout the weekly lessons for the veteran’s group, Fulton and her fellow classmates have been teaching different aspects of communication to their guests.
“My group hopes to gain more personal experience with our communication skills, and insight into how others communicate,” Fulton said. “We want to help our guests communicate better, where they can take what we teach in our class to the outside world and use that information to better their communication interactions.
“Two main aspects our group will focus on with the veterans are how to control their humor and sarcasm better when communicating with people.”
Overall, Fulton said she is happy to be enrolled in the class and looks forward to continuing the work her group has begun at the Center for the Homeless.
“The veterans are a great group of guys, and are very eager to learn, which makes my group and I happy and willing to go teach every week,” she said.
Senior Caroline Gallagher is part of a group that teaches the children at the Center.
“Our group is called Club P.S., which includes the kids,” Gallagher said. “Although our class has only been at the Center for three weeks, we have had such a great experience so far.”
Before arriving, Gallagher said the group was a bit nervous, as they did not know what to expect from the experience.
“After the first day with the kids, any sense of being nervous was completely gone,” she said. “The children are extremely vibrant and excited to learn new things- plus they love having older kids to hang out with for an hour every week.”
Gallagher said, she believes her group has already gained a lot from being at the Center for the Homeless. Although they have faced a few hurdles, Gallagher said the group is thrilled to be working with Club P.S.
“The biggest thing that I hope our students gain from my group being at the Center for the Homeless is how important communication is in every aspect of every person’s life,” Gallagher said. “I hope that the curriculum we teach them is something that they will remember for the rest of their lives, and will help them to be successful in communicating with the different people that they will meet throughout their lives.”
While Gallagher and her group know teaching children is a lot of responsibility, she said they feel capable of providing the necessary tools for their students to thrive.
“As a group, I feel we are capable of doing exactly what we have to in order for the students to get the most out of their Thursday afternoons with us,” Gallagher said. “While the semester progresses, I am excited to see where our lessons take us with the kids.”
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