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The Care and Feeding of Volunteers

March 7th, 2019 at 07:59 am

Sadly, I'm about fed up.

I volunteer in a classroom and to be honest, I'm tired of feeling like I'm being taken advantage of. The teacher doesn't want to prepare anything for when I come and wants to me to come up with stuff.

I get that the teacher is busy. But, is asking that there be two copies of a book to read too much? He wanted me to listen to kids read and I was expected to read from the same copy. That strains my eyes too much. I said why not have two copies of whatever.

Then, I was doing art for the big part of the year. All stuff I bought, I planned. After I finished the last project before Christmas, I suggested we go to something else. So, his answer was to read some in a textbook and I had to come up with the questions there on the spot. I finally said something about this and that perhaps he should come up with materials and questions and actually have them assigned for a grade. Because otherwise the kids don't feel like what we do has any value.

Now, it seems the teacher isn't good about letting me know when I can come in...just takes it for granted I will show up. I didn't hear from him until Sunday about this week and he didn't tell me that the school was closed on Monday for Casmir Pulaski Day and I had to learn that on my own. He then wanted me to reschedule a time. I said I had other plans. I'm tired of being taken for granted. I'm feeling like a rebel. I know I never treated a volunteer like this. Sadly, there are not a lot of volunteers in the district where I worked and where I volunteer. I just don't get how people don't appreciate someone willing to come in and help. The operative word being help. I know I can plan stuff, but I retired. I don't want to plan everything.

DH reads in three different schools. One teacher of the three is good about letting him know about upcoming things. The other two teachers aren't. We received a phone call this morning at 7:15 asking if he could come later today. I'm sorry, getting a phone call that early scares us -- we think it is bad news.

The other teacher never lets him know about changes either. I don't know if this is just the way society now functions or what, but I find it rude. I have to check school calendars for updates, but not everything is on the school calendars.

As a volunteer, I just think the people who are benefiting should be a little nicer.


5 Responses to “The Care and Feeding of Volunteers”

  1. Carol Says:

    Totally agree!

  2. Wink Says:

    I feel the same. The last volunteer I had in the career center at the college was the most reliable, and pleasant person! We made sure she felt our appreciation.

  3. crazyliblady Says:

    I totally agree that they need to plan better and give you some idea what to do in the classroom and give you the materials to do it. I do not teach, but I did substitute teaching many years ago and often got called at about 7:00am to be at a school at 7:30am. Three of the schools were within a 5-10 minute drive, but others were 20 minutes at best. I am so glad I don't work as a teacher.

  4. LuckyRobin Says:

    I would tell the teachers that if they don't start respecting your time and let you know sufficiently ahead of time about these things and prepare for you, that you will no longer be volunteering in their classroom and then carry through. There are other classrooms you can volunteer in, I'm sure, and if not there are other places you can give your time to. Maybe you could volunteer to work with children in a domestic violence shelter or homeless shelter instead or at the children's section of the library.

  5. crazyliblady Says:

    Have you ever considered being a tutor at the public library or through an adult basic education program?

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