Launching rockets fresh outta school – Stephen Alvin on his summer interning at Saturday Kids
September 19, 2019
Curious about what it’s like interning at Saturday Kids? Hear from Stephen Alvin, rockstar intern and student at the Singapore University of Technology and Design about why he took on this 3 month stint as a rocket launcher, and how it’s shaped his perspective on teaching and education.
There are 2 things about me you should know.
Firstly, being a kinesthetic learner and a maker by heart, I have always believed in hands-on learning and was never a big fan of an education system that forces you to memorize.
Secondly, I love kids!
So when I was scrolling through job listings on my university’s portal, it wasn’t hard to decide what to do for my summer break the moment I landed on the Saturday Kids website. The idea of hands-on coding and building stuff with kids really called out to me, as it would give me an opportunity to teach kids the way I believed teaching should be done.
My main role at Saturday Kids was as a rocket launcher – developing curricula and assisting classes.
To do this, I regularly put myself in the shoes of a child to experience the curriculum we built. This could be challenging given the newness of the type of learning we were trying to pilot. For example, working on the project-based drop-in curriculum for Explorer Pass, I helped to design self-directed courses that were highly intuitive; this made me more empathetic and understanding of kids abilities.
The first night before I assisted my first class, I repeatedly went through the lesson material, trying to figure out all the ways I might screw up during a lesson. What if a kid cried? How if parents asked me tough questions? But once the lesson actually began, the kids were so cute, I threw away all my worries and started enjoying myself.
Teaching is a tiring process, but at the end of the day, when kids presented their projects, knowing that they created what they did as a result of what we taught them was the most rewarding feeling in the world.
I’ve come to believe that teaching is one of the most important jobs in the world because of our proximity to kids, and the privilege to provide guidance as a role model. What we do during those hours of class is really important – as an educator, what we teach is an incredibly powerful tool to equip students with the knowledge, skills and wisdom they need for life.
Interning at Saturday Kids has been nothing short of an amazing journey, and I don’t think I could have made a better choice for my first internship. Special thanks to Shawn for taking care of all of us, to my fellow interns who I were amazingly in sync with, and last but not least – to my mentor Huda, who was always there to lend me a helping hand!
At Saturday Kids we’re always on the lookout for interns and rocket launchers to be a part of our weird and wonderful team. If you’re excited about tech, passionate about education and love working with kids, let’s connect here!