for more information and to download the Volunteer Handbook.
Important Tips for Volunteers
- Volunteers should be aware of the following items to ensure a successful experience.
- Be alert to changes in the behavior of the children you volunteer with. Increased aggression, withdrawal, physical injuries, and problems getting along with other children may be warning signs of a larger problem. Discuss your observations with the teacher or supervising staff member.
- Confidentiality, yours and that of those you work with, including students, should be respected at all times.
- Be flexible and admit mistakes. This delights children and they will be more relaxed about admitting their own mistakes.
- Be well informed about the people to whom you can turn to for help and advice.
- Become familiar with classroom procedures and practices.
- Avoid criticizing staff or school procedure in front of students.
- Concerns should be brought only to the volunteer coordinator or principal.
- Understand and accept students in terms of their own backgrounds, values,manners, vocabulary and aspirations. They may be different from yours.
Tips for Getting along with Staff
- Abiding by the rules of the school.
- Work cooperatively with school staff, administrators and teachers.
- Recognizing that the teacher is responsible for classroom instruction and support their decisions. Not criticizing or questioning a teacher's decision in front of students.
- Understanding that student discipline is the teacher's responsibility.
- Being patient with staff members who may be unaccustomed to working with volunteers. Make a point to get to know staff members and understand their needs.
- Volunteers become important members of the school team.
- Like students and staff, volunteers are asked to adhere to all school rules and policies.
- When volunteers are on the school sites the district regards them as employees and therefore has certain expectations.
- Volunteers should be aware of the variation in teaching styles and choice of activities that teachers use to get certain concepts across to students.
- Students themselves have individual learning styles that should be taken into account when working with them.
- The volunteer can expect that their individuality will also be respected.
Working Cooperatively - The teacher and the volunteer should work as a team to assure positive outcomes for our students. For the protection of staff members and the volunteers, it is important to remember that volunteers need to be supervised by a staff member during the job assignment.
Being Dependable - Being dependable means carrying through on the commitment to be a volunteer. When volunteers participate in the educational process, they teach by example. Students learn lessons about responsibility and good citizenship from volunteers. When you can't fulfill your job assignment, the effect can be disruptive to students and staff. The volunteer is asked to:
Be on time.
Provide accurate feedback to the teacher.
Accomplish assigned tasks.
Call volunteer coordinator, school, or teacher if unable to come.
When you discuss students' needs with teachers or your volunteer coordinator, you may learn privileged information. Such information is confidential and must not be talked about outside the school. Discussing confidential information about students, their homes, or the school could cause harm to the student, the family and the school team. In some cases this information is protected by law.