June 14, 2012
Over the years I have made multiple attempts to help out in public school classrooms. As much as they can use the extra manpower, they have a hard time making beneficial use of volunteers. It is a lot of extra work for a classroom teacher to manage volunteers,and potential volunteers are as varied as the students in a class. It's been great to volunteer with the Writer Coach Connection project of Community Alliance for Learning because they provide extensive training before you can work with students. And the group takes care of all the management duties. Having a group of writer coaches come requires some special attention from the teacher, but it seems fairly limited in comparison with the benefit for students. Also, a coach is assigned to every student and we work with them at whatever level they present to their coach. No one is singled out as needing a tutor, so there's no stigma disincentive for students to work with us. I have enjoyed some amazing interactions with individual students who would never have given me the time of day if I encountered them in a different setting. And it's very satisfying to see the impact on the students' work, whether just a kernel of trying harder, or the development of a real writer.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?