Hillsboro ELEMENTARY School Volunteer
“Intelligence plus character- that is the goal of education”- Martin Luther King, Jr
WHy VOlunteer in an ELEMENTARY school?
I decided to volunteer at an elementary school because I want to eventually become a teacher. At first, my plan was to teach high school English, but since volunteering, I have found a love for helping these children further their education. I ended up completely changing my career path because through volunteering, I have found what I want to do.
WHat I do
,It just so happens that I volunteer on the craziest and usually the busiest day of the week- Fridays. I am fortunate because no two Fridays look the same and I end up doing different things every time. Some Fridays we have "normal days" where they have their usual set schedule, other Fridays they have parties that they have earned, or something called "family groups" which incorporates the whole school and I end up seeing kids from a bunch of different grades. But no matter the day, I usually will always help out with grading, lessons, and I even will help answer kids questions. Since I have been there all year, and not just this term, I have been able to build relationships with these kids and they are starting to trust me and see me as another "teacher", which is pretty amazing for me.
how it works
Each child will pick out a book, and we set perimeters so the children will pick out books that are appropriate for their age and their own skill. Then after the child reads the book, they will fill out one of these pink sheets. This sheet includes Title, Author, Number of pages, Date started, Date ended, Summary, Rating and I am actually able to figure out a lot about each child just from these categroies. After the children finish their book and their summary, they turn it into us and then I will have the opportunity to look over their summaries and decided what each child needs to work on. For some, its as simple as they chose a book that was lower than their reading level, so it was far too easy. I would suggest that they try and find a book between x amount of pages and x amount of pages. For others, its going over summaries and suggesting things they could add. I will also be checking for comprehension and making sure they are getting the most out of each book they read. I will have them tell me their favorite part, their least favorite, what character look like, etc.
Results so far
I am pleased to say that it has been going so very well so far. Since this is a project that will go through the rest of the year, we are still very new to it. We just had the kids turn in their first round of books on February 28th and I have already found and learned so much. I am still working on talking to everyone, but these are some of the things I was able to work on with the kids.
- They are thinking critically about what they read
- Most are summarizing correctly, but not all
- Some are already on their second and third book
Though this class is coming to an end, I still plan on finishing this school year with the kids. I plan on continuing this project and volunteering within this class. This whole experience has been so rewarding for me, but I think the best part was being able to help these kids and give them the opportunity to talk to someone about something they liked or didn't like. But most importantly it gave the kids a reason and an opportunity to just read a book.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” - Dr. Seuss