Monday, September 28, 2009

Volunteering Step by Step


Soon I will begin some volunteering at a Catholic high school not too far from the house. I have had some of the teachers in previous courses and a couple in my courses this semester. I knew I would learn alot during my time volunteering; I just never imagined the importance of the lessons before I could even step foot in the classroom. There are many steps and hoops to jump through to be a volunteer.

The first step was to make initial contact...several times. I called to inquire, visited the school with a teacher co-student who teaches there, and e-mailed once a week. Approximately three weeks to a month later I met with Joe who fellow who coordinates these things. Now is when I realized the importance of persistence in becoming a volunteer. While I was waiting patiently for him to get back to me after discussing the possibility of me volunteering with the English Dept. folk, many events too place at school and the volunteer was forgotten (it's okay). Luckily, I was inspired by Vanessa and Mark to e-mail again (and again) to show that am still interested. Step three is predict what the office might need. Just in case, I attended the safe environment session in my parish and got the signed certificates needed to prove I had seen the videos and speakers. Ah-ha! When Joe replied to my e-mails (pestering), he asked if I would attend one of the sessions...woo-who...I even remembered to print of the diocesan code of ethics thingy. So setting up for this meeting today with the English department head and Joe actually started way back in the middle of August. This doesn't mean I get to start volunteering soon. They have to run a background check on me and set up a couple more hoops first, but then I'm set for the rest of the school year.

For a couple weeks I harbored thoughts like "this wouldn't happen at my previous school". Then I realized, I've never been on this side of the fence. It very well could take this long to get into a volunteering spot at our schools. I'm just hopeful that I can be useful to the English folk while I'm here. It will also be nice (for the first few days) to be working with students me reconnect to how I can use my courses and learnin' when I return home.


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