Tips for Volunteers

1. Be warm and friendly – learn the children’s names and show interest in what they are doing and show them that you’re an active listener. Always be loving and interested.

2. When working with children, encourage and inspire them to be great – give them plenty of time to answer, silence often means they are thinking and organizing what they want to say or write.

3. If you don’t know an answer or are unsure of what to do, admit it to the children and work it out together – feel free to ask the teacher or the children for help when you need it.

4. Use tact and positive comments – encourage children, especially when they’re shy or having difficulties. Praise and compliment the kids, their parents and teachers.

5. Accept each child as she/he is – you do not need to feel responsible for judging a child’s abilities, progress, or behavior.

6. If a child is upset, encourage him/her to talk the problem over with you – you need not solve the problem, but by listening and talking you help the child feel you care.

7. Respect a child’s privacy – if a child or a teacher reveals personal information, regard it as a confidence.

8. Maintain a sense of humor.

9. Be consistent with teacher’s rules for classroom behavior, schedule and atmosphere.

10. Wear comfortable clothes and don’t hesitate to “get down to a child’s level.”

11. If parents and friends ask about your work, tell them you enjoy working with the children and discuss the activities you do rather than specific information about the child, the teacher or the school.

12. Keep your commitment; the children will expect you and look forward to your coming. If you know you will be gone, tell them in advance. Keep all promises, and make none that you can not keep – children never forget.