I am interning at Buen Dia Family School in San Francisco, California. Buen Dia is a preschool that is primarily art-based with a Spanish language component. Their educational approach is more so about the process of learning rather than the final product. For example,what the children experienced while creating art is more valuable than the finished work itself. By putting less pressure on the child to make something in a specific order, and letting them figure out their own unique way, they are encouraging students to develop free thinking. The students at Buen Dia also learn Spanish while attending preschool. It not only teaches the children a valuable skill but also is more inclusive to other children who speak Spanish as their native tongue.
In the mornings, I spend an hour doing office work. During that time, I file receipts, create documents, sort books for the school’s library, and tidy up the area. After office work, I head out to the back yard and supervise the children until it is time for Cave; the older kids’ quiet time. Two other teachers and I take them down to the lower level of the school and read them stories bef0re they settle down to rest for a bit. After Cave, I stay downstairs and put away the beds, sweep, and make sure everything is in order for later that day. I spend most of my time looking after the kids but I organizer the front room and the dress up room as well as clean the bathroom at the end of the day before I go home.
I like working at Buen Dia because I really love children and I am interested in the way they learn and experience life. I recently designed my own degree in pediatric art therapy and it feels like everyday, I find something valuable to keep in mind. I have a unique living situation at home where my two very young cousins are living with us. It was because of them that I decided to do art therapy and spend my second co-op at Buen Dia. They are both toddler age and I always wanted them to have some place even remotely similar to Buen Dia. I also hope to work at more places that are similar for my future career.
“At Camp Nuhop, we do more than sing.”
For a while now, I have had this modified campfire song suck in my head so much so that I’ve lost sleep because of it’s constant ringing through my brain. The song was introduced to me when I first started my co-op and, since then, we have sang it probably more than one hundred times. It’s one of those songs that you catch yourself humming hours after you’ve heard it and you can’t get it out of your head until jut before you hear it again and the cycle goes on. Sometimes, I catch myself singing it when no one is around, as utterly unbearable as it sounds, I’ve grown to love the song that plagues me daily.
For me, the song represents everything that I have learned from experience while on co-op. It is indeed true that we do more than just sing campfire songs. Camp Nuhop is partly a camp that all types of schools go to for outdoor education, where they are set free from academia and are encouraged to be their truest selves. Through Camp Nuhop, I have had the pleasure of impacting so many children’s lives that might not be as bright and happy as they are at camp. It is amazing to see a kid who is labeled as a “problem child” come hear and leave with a sense of purpose. Sometimes, you don’t think that you have any sort of impact on the world around you, but I’ve come to realize that the staff, including myself, serve as a positive drive for these kids to continue their lives after they’ve left camp.
There is also a summer camp program for children with different learning disabilities.http://nuhop.org/tour/virtual-tour.html While I do not have the privilege of being a councilor, I can tell you with upmost certainty that the staff is an incredibly positive, caring, and dedicated group of people who really care about these kids. You can tell that they love their job and that’s what makes this place feel like magic to me. http://nuhop.org/ Speaking of magic, there really such a thing as “camp magic”. Camp Nuhop’s brand of magic has brought me together with so many wonderful people and I can genuinely tell you that I have learned so much more from them than I think they will ever even know.
So yes, we do more than just sing.