Teaching at Dublin Zoo summer camps

Posted on 8th May 2016

Hey everyone! I’m Milena and I’m doing a six-week-internship with the Education team in the Rediscovery Centre. This means that I’m helping to deliver workshops to children to help them be less wasteful and so they can rediscover the value of unwanted materials. To achieve this, the Education team delivers workshops at schools, summer camps, and libraries. This summer, we are working at lots of different locations including Dublin Zoo.

Below I have shared my experiences from the last few weeks when we were teaching about waste at the Dublin Zoo summer camps.

The first day, I was a little bit nervous, because I didn’t quite know what was going to happen, but I was open-minded and confident that it’s going to be an experience that I’ll never forget in my life. My main responsibility was to help the children with arts and crafts, making the zoo animals, collages or flower pots from waste. The variety of different activities keeps everyone excited, and the difference between the personalities of the kids makes it really interesting. It was also really impressive what the kids created with only paint, cardboard and toilet rolls. That’s also something I’ve learned, you don’t need many materials to create something incredible.

The one thing I was really afraid of was that the children wouldn’t understand me. I thought this was going to be my biggest challenge, but I learned to just keep trying! In this sense I think that children are good teachers, because they aren’t as sceptical as adults sometimes are. They don’t judge you when you’re saying something wrong and they give you a chance to correct your mistake. Also you can learn a lot from kids, for example the way they think or their concentration during a task and the fact that they don’t care if they are doing it right, it only matters if they like it and if they feel good while doing it. My confidence has grown each time I have worked with the kids because I have realized that I’ve nothing to be afraid of.

Even that this is only my third week I feel that my knowledge is increasing a lot. In the future I’ll be less wasteful, be more aware of what I’m throwing away and reduce, reuse and recycle almost everything.

I’m delighted that I’ve had the opportunity to do something totally different than my daily routine in school and that I’ve had the chance to develop myself in another way. I’m very happy that I’m part of the Rediscovery Centre team and I’m looking forward to the next three camps at the Zoo.