What Volunteers Should Expect
As a volunteer who is giving your valuable time and effort to the school, you should expect to:
- Be made to feel that the assistance given is worthwhile and contributes to the overall value of the program in which you are participating.
- Be treated with respect and consideration by all students and staff.
- Be given a suitable assignment in line with your areas of interest and skills, and if possible, convenience of location.
- Be given clear instructions and any training necessary for particular volunteer assignments.
- Be given proper orientation to the school with introductions to key personnel and information provided as to parking, storage of personal items and washrooms.
- Have an effective mechanism for two-way communication with staff.
- Be provided with direct support from staff if difficulties arise.
What is Expected of Volunteers
The success of the volunteer program depends on the volunteer’s willingness to commit to several things. All volunteers:
- Are dependable and punctual.
- Dress appropriately when volunteering at Chimborazo. Remember students are modeling your behavior and appearance.
- Wear a name tag at all times while in the school.
- Work under the direction and supervision of a member of the school staff; the relationship is to be one of mutual respect and confidence.
- Support teachers, not supplant them; the teachers are responsible for content and instruction in the classroom.
- Are there to help all the children, not just their own.
- Work within the rules of the school as set out by the principal.
- Maintain appropriate adult behavior at all times and expect age-appropriate behavior from the child.
- Allow the teachers to discipline children. If there are incidents of misbehavior, it is the teacher’s job to deal with them.
- Treat the teachers, children, and children's parent(s) or guardian(s) with respect and do not criticize or make negative comments about them to or in front of the students.
- Ask questions about programs, policies and equipment at a time appropriate for both the staff member and yourself.
- Follow the staff person’s established procedures.
- Talk to the teacher about any difficulties at appropriate times, not in front of students or parents. Do not discuss grades with students.
- Exhibit behavior that is respectful and assume equality towards members of the same and opposite sex, and all ethnic/racial and religious groups. Volunteers shall not make any comments that can be construed as racist, sexist, or bigoted. Volunteers shall respect cultural differences and attempt to broaden their knowledge and understanding of human relations.
- Avoid promoting any commercial products, religious doctrines or beliefs, as well as any political candidates (this includes political buttons) or parties. Avoid lending money to students, and shall not indulge the children with gifts, money, food, or presents.
- Keep information about students and teachers confidential unless disclosure to proper authorities is required by law. Any information that indicates a student may harm her/himself or another person must be reported to the teacher or school counselor. If the student reports that he/she has been abused, that information must be reported to the teacher or school counselor. This information should not be repeated to friends, relatives, coworkers or other acquaintances.
- Realize they are not a teacher or an educational programming assistant, not a therapist or a counselor, but first of all a caring, supportive adult who accepts the students as they are. The volunteer shall convey by his/her interest, attitude and sincerity that the student is a worthwhile person. Only when students feel good about themselves are they able to learn.
- Share personal experiences and talents. Let the teacher know where you excel (telling stories, math, science, singing, playing instruments, handicrafts, computer use, photography, etc.). Teachers love to use volunteers when their expertise enhances the curriculum.
- Refrain from using classroom time to talk to teachers about personal issues! Remember too, that teachers use planning period, lunch, and before and after school times for planning! Please be sensitive to the demands on their time and schedule appointments by calling or e-mail when you need to talk with them. Also, dropping in at unscheduled times is not appropriate. Also remember chatting in the hallway is disruptive to teachers and students.