Through The Eyes of A Schoolx Volunteer
We asked our volunteer, Betül, what does Schoolx mean for her. Here is her response:
Initially, when I first started my journey as a volunteer with Schoolx, I did not anticipate that I carry a very heavy responsibility. After meeting my students, I can finally comprehend my responsibility. My students are young high school students and at their age, they are much more vulnerable to conflict with their peers. If they differ from others in any way, they will be subjected to bullying in schools and they also face prejudice within the country.
During Schoolx trainings, we learnt how to deal with these situations and how to approach them. I have benefited greatly from these trainings. In addition, I have a passion to realise my students’ goals and aspirations. Once, one of my students came up to me and told me, “My teacher, this is our future.” I cannot describe to you how emotional I felt after hearing that. He was proud that despite facing numerous difficulties, he did not despair but believed that he will continue to have a future in our country.
My students are also often curious to find out my thoughts of being a Turk when I am working on such issues. This stems from their desire to learn about the nuances of the culture and the language, to understand the “soul” behind the culture and the language. They understand that in order to express themselves freely in both academic and human relations, they must use Turkish actively. That is not to say, however, that they do not struggle in the process. Indeed, Arabic and Turkish are vastly different in terms of some patterns and this makes it challenging for them to form sentences. During the lessons, we also practice pronunciation. One of the greatest hurdles is that the letter “p” is read as letter “b”. Nevertheless, we are working on this. Due to our university ambitions, we have mini competitions to compare between the number of words read per minute or whether the text read is understood. For example, if the student does not understand a word in the text, the calculated percentage of understanding the text is decreased. As the words are learnt together with synonyms and metaphors, students can more easily comprehend the text.
Besides these lessons, I appreciate how my students live and share memories of daily life, instead of perceiving me just as an authority. Hence, I will like to thank Schoolx for giving me this opportunity to make an impact on someone’s life, no matter how small, for a brighter future.