Hard to engage learners: Hypothetical Learning Scenarios
At the Student House the most difficult to reach target group consists of lonely young people who often lack the courage to join social activities. To accommodate them, it is important to create an inclusive, safe atmosphere. This can be achieved quite simply by the volunteers through general niceness, though one simple, but important gesture is recommended: Remember the introduction – always introduce the newcomer to other volunteers/organisers/pupils.
The newcomer will feel welcome and appreciated – like he/she is valued and important. It will also provide an opening for others to come talk to the newest arrival.
Feeling welcome from the first day creates a feeling of safety in a group. The group will be happier and feel confident to work independently. If the group leader sets the example of always introducing, the rest of the group should follow the lead, so no one ever stands alone.
Our group leaders are always attentive to making everybody feel comfortable and welcome and are especially attentive to the shy newcomers. They take great care to introduce all the newcomers (by name) to the other volunteers and members of the organisation – even if they won’t spend much time together.
People with (mental) disabilities often need extra attention when they join activities. With the right people there, this extra attention is just a minor addition that let them feel normal and accepted to join the party. Involve them in your organisation and give them particular tasks. This way they will feel special in a positive way.
People with a disability will feel involved and appreciated. Other people in the group will get a warm feeling and take joy in their happiness.
When people feel welcome, they come back and they will give you a lot of love in return. This can inspire other people.
At DINAMO people with mental disabilities get to show off the clothes people made during workshops in a fashion show. They love to do that!