Volunteering At Elementary School Essay

Volunteering At Elementary School Essay-27
At Jackson Mann K-8 School in Boston, where I am the principal, we have about a dozen volunteer academic mentors who come in weekly.

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Juggling the demands of classroom instruction, standardized testing, and giving all students the individualized attention they need can feel impossible for even the most skilled of teachers. As a former classroom teacher, I’ve experienced this stress myself.

Now, as a public school principal, I’ve sought ways to alleviate burdens for my teachers and staff.

According to the National Mentoring Partnership, students who meet regularly with mentors are 54 percent less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37 percent less likely to skip class.

The consistent presence of a caring adult also motivates students socially and emotionally.

We have many English-language learners who struggle to connect socially.

When we told the mentoring program about this need, they began sending mentors who spoke Arabic and Spanish to work with our students in their native languages.At-risk students who regularly meet with a mentor are 46 percent less likely than their peers to start using drugs and 81 percent more likely to participate regularly in sports and extracurricular activities.I have been lucky enough to see these effects firsthand.After all, it is teachers’ connection to students—their insight and expertise—that allows them to identify who most needs an academic mentor.Mentorships can be particularly helpful for students who are English-language learners.Even fewer classrooms can regularly offer one-on-one time for struggling students who are at varying skill levels.It’s not just about helping them meet grade-level comprehension, but also about fostering excitement in core subject areas like math and reading.Teachers pre-plan lessons with mentors and give them a glimpse in advance of what content will be covered.These academic mentors don’t replace the training and experience our teachers bring to the table, but help to complement daily instruction and develop students’ academic and personal confidence.Through the added involvement of the community, students can develop critical skills, self-confidence, and the motivation they need to recognize and achieve their full potential.By opening our school doors, we can in turn open doors for students, creating classrooms that give them the full range of attention they deserve.


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