ECSL Meeting, Feb 13, 2013 at TreePeople

ECSL Meeting, Feb 13, 2013 at TreePeople

Back-to-School routines are all too familiar: faculty meetings, reading files, organizing the classroom, lesson planning. But have you considered any “Back-to-Service” routines to kick-start your service learning program? Here is one  to consider: The Personal Inventory. Developed by one of our Educators Consortium for Service Learning (ECSL) advisors and a leader in service learning curriculum, Cathryn Berger Kaye, it is a great get-to-know-you activity that will provide useful information about your students, which can be used throughout the  service learning process.

For the Personal Inventory, students partner to interview each other about their interests, skills and talents, followed by creating a class inventory for ongoing reference. Uncovering students’ interests may help the group determine a social issue to focus on, one that students are passionate about. Knowing students’ skills and talents helps promote student-driven service learning experiences. Students can apply their various skills and talents during the service process, promoting the importance of each individual’s contributions.

After students complete the Personal Inventory with their peers, they can also interview their parents leading to a list of parents’ interests, skills and talents that can be a great asset. This can also be used with your entire school faculty, and may help you discover a service learning partner or advocate.

Perhaps, you have attended an ECSL meeting in the past and have participated in this exercise with us. You can find the Personal Inventory described in Kaye’s book, The Complete Guide to Service Learning: Proven, Practical Ways to Engage Students in Civic Responsibility, Academic Curriculum, & Social Action. We hope that as you get “Back-to-Service” you will consider ECSL a partner and advocate throughout your service learning experiences this year. We look forward to supporting you at our meetings, as well as providing you with resources through our website and Facebook page. Welcome back to service learning!

Have any “Back-to-Service” routines or ideas that might be useful for other educators? We’d love for you to share. Return to the top to leave a comment.

 For more on Personal Inventory, visit Cathryn Berger Kaye’s website where you can download the elementary and secondary Personal Inventory forms:

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