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Site Volunteer Orientation

Site Volunteer Orientation







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  • Elementary school is composed of fundamental learning and building basic knowledge. Elementary school is an important time in all children’s academic development.Suggestions for working with Elementary School StudentsBuilding trust and setting boundaries are essential factors in establishing an effective learning environment.Set clear boundaries and goals from day one. Be sure to explain why you are there. Maintain a firm and friendly demeanor.Be precise and specific when directing students. Make sure you have their undivided attention before placing expectations on them.Reinforce positive behavior! Catch students being good. Give lots of attention for appropriate behavior.Allow movement, especially for younger students. Let them move around and/or stretch. Take a break when necessary.
  • Middle school includes more homework, harder tests, and tough reading assignments. Middle school and junior high can be a big transition for any child. At the middle school level, the reading material a student needs to master is "content rich," ranging from word problems to scientific facts. Tutoring sessions may involve deciphering unfamiliar words, solving problems, and deepening reading comprehension.Encourage critical thinking. Although it may be tempting to tell the student everything you know about a given subject, resist the urge to do the work yourself. Instead, explain your own thinking process and help your students build their own academic skills.Write and write and write some more. Students must write for a variety of purposes, so additional work on grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation may be needed. A tutor can harness the power of creativity. In your next session, experiment with poetry or try writing a screen play.Teach academic success skills. Many students need explicit instructions on how to organize material, take notes, and study for tests. A tutor can help a student gain mastery in these areas by explaining and modeling. Bring your datebook to sessions to show how you organize your time.Become an advocate. In addition to questioning students about schoolwork, making direct connections with classroom teachers helps you give and receive valuable feedback. Help your students figure out what to do when they have questions or concerns in class.Set attainable goals. It is imperative to set goals so that the session stays on task and results in concrete accomplishments. Reflect on the progress made (and ask the student involved to do the same!).

Site Volunteer Orientation Site Volunteer Orientation Presentation Transcript

  • Southwest High School welcomes you to:
    Volunteer Orientation
  • Learning Objectives
    New volunteers will leave this orientation knowing:
    Information about Southwest High School
    The changing developmental profiles of students
    How school volunteerism fits into a youth development framework
    Strategies for building student self-esteem
    How to respond to different learning styles
    How to address the individual needs of students
    Strategies for working effectively with students with diverse backgrounds
    Strategies for managing common student behaviors
    What to ask in an initial conversation with the teacher/staff
    The MPS volunteer policies
    The next steps
  • Southwest High School
    Moving toward academic success
    • Vision
    • Mission
    • Goals
    • Values
  • Southwest High School
    Our students
    • Enrollment
    • Demographics
  • Southwest High School
    What we offer
    • Academic curriculum
    • Magnet programs
    • Clubs and activities
    • Business/college partnerships
  • School Policies
    • Cell phone use
    • Computer/internet use
    • Attendance
    • Behavior management
    • Safety, violence
    • Etc.
  • School Procedure
    • Expectations of volunteers in the school
    • Supervision
    • Check-in/ name badges
    • Absences and consistency
    • School policies
  • Logistics and Resources
    • School calendar
    • Parking
    • Class schedule
    • Staff contact information
  • Volunteer Opportunities
    • Here would be examples of traditional opportunities you have available in your school
  • Developmental Profiles
    Take a moment to thinkback to yourtime in [insert your school demographic].
    • In one word, how would you describe yourself?
    • What was important to you at that time?
    • How did you spend your free time?
  • Developmental ProfilesElementary School
    Build trust and set boundaries
    Set clear boundaries and goals
    Be precise and specific
    Reinforce positive behavior
    Allow movement
  • Developmental ProfilesMiddle School
    • Encourage critical thinking
    • Write and write and write some more
    • Teach academic success skills
    • Become an advocate
    • Set attainable goals
  • Developmental ProfilesHigh School
    Be a sounding board
    Model the service ethic
    Know your learner
    Ask for help when you need it
  • When Working with Students
    • Set an example
    • Be prepared
    • Review, review, review
    • Give praise
    • Be positive
    • Practice patience
    • Communicate
    • Have realistic expectations
    • Expect the best
  • Youth Development
    In addition to academic achievement, volunteers should strive to develop non-academic outcomes in our students. These are critical to our students’ overall lifelong success.
  • Youth Development Reflection
    Describe a time in your education when someone at school either helped or hindered you in building a sense of connection or confidence. Why was this experience important to you at that particular time?
  • Self Esteem
    • Avoid trying new things
    • Feel unloved and unwanted
    • Blame others for his or her own shortcomings
    • Feel, or pretend to feel, emotionally indifferent
    • Put down his or her own talents and abilities
    • Be easily influenced
    • Fail to look at the short or long-term consequences of his or her actions
    A student’s behavior can clearly reflect his or her feelings about him or herself
    Low Self-Esteem
    Act independently
    Assume responsibility
    Take pride in his or her accomplishments
    Attempt new tasks and challenges
    Self- Esteem
  • Self Esteem
    Listen to and acknowledge feelings
    Expect the best
    Be consistent
    Build interest
    Be a good listener
    Build a relationship
    Be yourself
  • Identifying Learning Styles
    Likes books and pictures
    Easily distracted by movement
    Good at sight-reading
    Will stare, doodle, or find something to watch when inactive
    • Enjoy sports, are well coordinated
    • Use their hands to talk
    • Likes to draw and doodle
    • Talk a lot
    • Like to be in charge
    • May talk to themselves when working alone
    • Move their mouth when reading to themselves
  • Classroom Techniques
    Insist on a clean work surface
    Use demonstrations
    Use pictures to reinforce vocabulary words
    Encourage the student to point when reading
    Highlight, underline, and color code
    Using flash cards
    • Help the student talk his/her way through tasks
    • Practice spelling words aloud
    • Ask the student to repeat directions
    • Use word associations
    • Set information to a tune and singing it to help remember it
    • Connect movement to other modalities
    • Provide a checklist of materials needed to do projects
    • Write things down multiple times to commit them to memory
    • Move around or take frequent breaks
  • Addressing Individual NeedsSuggestions for working with students with learning disabilities:
    Talk slowly and briefly
    Teach one concept at a time
    Face the student
    Use demonstrations
    Use association techniques
    Use multiple resources
  • Addressing Individual NeedsCharacteristics of students classified as underachievers. They may:
    • Be immature
    • Be troubled by conflict or problems
    • Watch excessive amounts of television
    • Come from a home where school achievement is not emphasized
    • Have a history of poor school attendance
  • Beware of Assumptions
    Have English speaking parents
    Lives with parents
    Gets enough to eat
    Isn’t gifted and ready for a challenge because he or she does not speak English fluently
    Is loud because he/she is angry
    • Gets to “act their age” outside of school and “be a kid.”
    • Has his/her own room at home
    • Can easily stay after school and get a ride home
    • Can get a folder, notebook and other supplies they might need from home
  • Behavior Management
    • Behavior management is different from discipline. It is proactive, not reactive
    • Teachers, not volunteers, should discipline
    • Misbehavior may happen when students aren’t getting what they need
  • Behavior Management
    Power: a student acts out, trying to be in charge/control.
    Response: give student choices about how he/she will do his/her work.
    Attention: a student acts out to be the center of attention.
    Response: redirect the student with specific praise for good work or behavior.
    Revenge: a student lashes out to get even for real or imagined hurt feelings.
    Response: show student appropriate ways of dealing with emotions.
    FailureAvoidance: student acts discouraged and helpless in order to avoid repeated failure.
    Response: teach key strategies and encourage the hope that he/she can accomplish what is expected of them.
    Failure Avoidance
  • Discussing Your Role
    Teacher’s ability to support you
    It is important to find out how much of a relationship you can expect to develop with the teacher. Find out the preferred mode of communication whether it be to talk after class each week or to communicate by email.
    Your skills
    Do you have a background in a certain subject? Do you have experience working with students? By recognizing your skills, you can help ensure that your placement is in the best possible area according to your expertise.
    Your Skills
    The Teacher’s Ability to Support You
    Teacher’s needs
    What does the teacher need help with? It is often good to ask this after you present your skills. Also it is good to ask what the teachers expectations are for volunteers in the classroom.
    What you seek
    Reflect upon your goals and the reasons why you are volunteering in the schools. Whether your preference is to work in small groups, one-on-one, administrative, or as a classroom aid.
    What You Seek
    The Teacher’s Needs
  • MPS Volunteer Policies
    Volunteers must always serve as role models. When serving as a MPS volunteer, an individual must refrain from inappropriate behaviors including, but not limited to, the following:
    • Use of profanity
    • Use of drugs or alcohol
    • Carrying weapons
    • Discussion of inappropriate topics
    • Giving gifts or money
    • Making ‘sexual or emotional advances’ to a student
    • Selling merchandise or actively promoting his or her business
    • Proselytizing (persuading to a way of thinking or acting)
  • MPS Volunteer Policies
    Dress Code: Volunteers’ attire should comply with the school’s dress code.
    Sign In: All volunteers must sign in and out at a location designated by the principal before proceeding to their volunteer site and must wear an identifying nametag provided by the school
    Supervision: Volunteers should not be left alone with a student. There should always be visual or auditory contact between the volunteer and a school employee.
    Discipline: With the exception of verbally and politely requesting the students’ attention, volunteers are not to discipline students. It is all right to ask them not to use inappropriate or disrespectful language in your presence. All discipline concerns should be directed to the appropriate school employee.
  • MPS Volunteer Policies
    Privacy: Volunteers must respect privacy of the students and students’ families by not talking about a student’s academic progress, behavior, or a school-related incident without permission from the student (if emancipated or 18+) or student’s parents/guardians. Any discussion of a student (other than the volunteer’s own child) is restricted to the student’s parent or guardian, the student’s teacher, the guidance counselor or another school employee or volunteer who has a need to know. When in doubt about whether information can be shared, check first with the student’s teacher.
    Student Contact: Do not ask students for their home phone number, address, or email address; do not give them yours. Do not socialize with your student(s) outside of school. Do not give your student(s) gifts. Chances of misunderstanding are high and you do not want to be second-guessed.
  • MPS Volunteer Policies
    Abuse: As you build trust with your students, you may become aware of abuse in their lives. This abuse may be sexual, physical, or emotional. By law, you are required to report any suspected abuse. You can report such suspicions to the teacher, principal, or school social worker. You CANNOT promise secrecy to your student, but you must maintain his/her confidentiality by not telling other students or your own friends.
    Tobacco Use: The use of tobacco products by staff, students, visitors (such as volunteers), or contractors is prohibited on school district property. School district property includes, but is not limited to; buildings, grounds, and vehicles owned, leased or contracted by the school district and school sponsored functions.
  • MPS Volunteer Policies
    Touch: We strongly urge you not to initiate physical contact with your students. You may be working with young people who may not be aware of appropriate boundaries. Keep in mind that your student(s) may see your physical contact as a sign of preferential treatment.
    Volunteer Dismissal: The school principal has the right to dismiss any volunteer who is deemed to have engaged in inappropriate behavior including, but not limited to, that described above. If a volunteer is dismissed, the MPS district and the office of Volunteer Services reserve the right not to reassign the volunteer at another school.
  • You Can Make a Difference!
    Thank you for your commitment to our students! Volunteers in our schools have great importance in the lives of our students
    As a volunteer, you can:
    • Give a student time
    • Help a student feel accepted
    • Help a student be successful and confident
    • Expand a student’s world of adult friendships
    • Offer a student a listening ear
  • Volunteer Testimony
    "No matter how much I was able to help these students, I'm sure they helped me at least ten times more... Southwest High School and those within its doors have had a far greater impact on me than I could have every imagined.”
  • What’s Next?
    • Screening
    • Reference checks
    • Criminal background check
    • Placement