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One effective teaching strategy is to engage students through lessons and experiences that cater to different types of learners: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic. At Young Americans Center, our International Towne program embodies this principle by offering students a wide array of jobs–Reporter, Finance Minister, Jeweler, and Salesperson, just to name a few. When students are truly interested in what they are doing, the best learning occurs!
Recently, we had a group come through International Towne with an amazing Indian film crew. The Director and Cinematographers came up with one of the best film plans we have seen. The citizens came with a schedule and a film board with their questions and goals for their documentary. On the back of their film plan board, they wrote out what moves them to be film writers. It was so inspiring to read what their ideas.
The crew called out a YouTube star that no one on our staff has ever heard of, but she clearly motivated this whole team to consider a career in the film industry. Apparently, she is known for taking small trips to the grocery store or to a department store and turning them into something entertaining. They mention how it is her editing that makes what she does so successful.
Luckily, I was working with this group so I witnessed the hard work that went into their short documentary. The filming process was not nearly as long as they were expecting and they ended up spending the entire afternoon editing and making their movie into something amazing for their school to enjoy during the follow up lessons. Our staff rarely sees such great organization, planning and follow through from the students!
This day was an example of some great leadership, teamwork, and hard work that made their plans possible. When working with a group, some students thrive and some have a harder time communicating with one another. This is a great reminder to put some of those students together, and watch as the more shy students thrive in our programs.
Assign jobs to students who will take ownership of the day. This motivates them to work successfully as a group, and it also allows them to feel successful on a personal note, too. There are a lot of different positions in our Townes, so many that at least one will be a good fit for every child!