When I left teaching I knew that I would volunteer to help at Erin and Dylan’s primary school. Call it a busman’s holiday but I wanted to help Erin settle at school and I wanted to be part of her education. I wasn’t able to help before because I had Erin at home and it left no opportunity to help at Dylan’s class. However Lee had been a governor for a number of years before his role at his school meant he no longer had the time needed.
I now help a couple of mornings a week, I change books, I listen to children read and I do their word packs with them. I also help out on the odd school trip. This volunteer role has a number of advantages
1. I can see how settled Erin is, which is something I worried about.
2. I have a good understanding of how she is learning and what their topic is.
3. I know her friends
4. I’m giving something back to a school that has served my children well.
Giving something back has always been important to me. I was a volunteer youth worker for many years which I did through my church, this then led me to becoming a trustee of a charity helping disadvantaged and often excluded teenagers. My giving something back to the community started young, I was about 13 when I started leading Sunday School for the pre-schoolers.
It makes me feel good to be doing things for others. I am a people person and everyone knows that I am passionate about education and even more so about young people – tomorrows future.
However I am surprised that there are not more helping at the school. I know working parents and those with younger children would find it really difficult and they may not have any free time to volunteer. However there are also many that could help but don’t. Many local schools are desperate. Funding cuts mean that there are less Teaching Assistants available to read with children. All parents want their children to be successful – yet therefore it is surprising that more don’t offer. It maybe because of CRB checks and people think it is a hassle but it really isn’t. It is a very quick form and the school will sort the rest.
I hear parents at the school gates that are quick to criticise and moan but I want to turn that on it’s head and ask what can YOU do to help? As I said those with little ones or that work I realise you can’t help just now but to those others ???
See this post as a call to action – what do you do for your community?
People moan that they don’t know their neighbours and that there is no community spirit anymore. There is but maybe you are not looking in the right places and maybe you are not thinking about what you have to offer.
I also want to publically thank those in my local community that do give back. To the scout leaders, the football coaches, the classroom helpers and the many like you. Thank you.