Emily Kearns is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2015, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A communications and business major at the University of Pittsburgh, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.
In her post below, Emily shares her story of volunteering with the San Giuseppe School while studying abroad in Florence.
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During orientation with CAPA in January, the staff informed us about different ways that students could get involved in Florentine life and culture throughout the semester. There were several different opportunities, but the one that stood out to me most was volunteering at a local elementary school. I immediately knew that I had to sign up and apply for this. How could I pass up the chance to help teach young students English? When I was younger my dream job was to be an elementary school teacher but as I have gotten older and my interests have changed, so have my career goals. I absolutely love interacting with children and I knew that I would enjoy this experience very much. I am so grateful that, after applying, I was selected to partake in this fantastic opportunity!
For the past few weeks, I’ve been going to San Giuseppe School with another student from CAPA to help a third grade class learn the English language. I was very nervous to go at first because I had no idea what to expect, but once I got to the school and met the teacher and children I immediately realized I had absolutely no reason to worry.
As my partner and I walked through the hallway, unsure of which classroom we were supposed to go to, it was pretty evident when we arrived at our destination. I peaked into the room at the end of the hallway and saw a classroom full of eight-year-olds with gigantic smiles on their faces, clearly awaiting the arrival of their new English teachers. The feeling I got when I saw that is unlike anything else - I felt a sense of relief, extreme happiness and any negative thoughts in my mind instantly went away. Once we went into the room and introduced ourselves the teacher, Maria Serena, told us that her students were really looking forward to having us help them with their English, which made me even more enthusiastic to help out.
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