Volunteer Manual - Part Two
RESPONSIBILITIES WITH STUDENTS
Guidelines for Volunteers
1. Never leave a child or group of children that you are responsible for unattended. Provide appropriate supervision at all times.
2. Always have at least one other adult, 18 years or older, help with the supervision of children. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES allow yourself to be alone with one child.
3. Always ask a child's permission before touching him/her anywhere, even when responding to an injury or problem. This is especially true for any area that would normally be covered by a T-shirt, and/or shorts. If an injury is within this area, make sure another adult works with you as care is provided.
4. Refrain from physical and verbal attacks and corporal punishment, which are inappropriate behaviors and should never be used as discipline. "Time outs" or "sit-in-that-chair" may be helpful discipline methods to use with children.
5. Affirm children with appropriate touching by keeping hugs brief and "shoulder-to-shoulder" or "side-to-side." Always keep hands at, not below the shoulder level. For small children who like to sit on laps; encourage them to sit next to you.
6. Provide extra care when taking small children to the restroom. Take another adult along, or leave the door open.
7. Be aware of conducting activities in rooms that do not have an interior viewing area, or leave the door open during the activity to allow easy observation by others.
8. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of child abuse. Report suspected cases to the teacher or principal.
9. All staff and volunteers should use the staff restrooms, down the little hall by the 1-2 grade classroom.
See Helpful Hints
1. Please do not bring siblings or other guests to class.
2. Please have cell phones turned off or on vibrate.
3. Please do not visit with other adults in the classroom.
4. Help the students BUT do not do the work for them.
5. If working in your child’s classroom, do not single him/her out. You are there to help the teacher and the entire class.
6. Don’t distract teachers while they are teaching. If you have questions wait until there is an appropriate moment.
7. Notify the teacher of a discipline problem and let him/her handle it.
8. Please dress modestly and in compliance with the standard of the YACS dress code.
9. Please respect the teaching and learning process by not using your time at school for an informal parent-teacher conference. Please make other arrangements to discuss your child’s progress with the teacher.
As a general rule, gift giving is strongly discouraged. Even small gifts can result in jealousy by other students or siblings and can escalate their feelings of being left out. It also sets a standard that may make other volunteers uncomfortable.
Please do not lend or give money or food to students. If you have a concern about a student’s needs please talk with the teacher.
To make sure students, staff, and families feel comfortable, we all need to respect each other’s privacy. Volunteers must be especially careful to honor confidentiality. Breaching confidentiality can be hurtful to children, their families, and the staff. It can also harm the good reputation of our volunteers.
Do not share any identifying information about students to anyone other than the teacher or administrator.
As a volunteer, you may become aware of personal information regarding a child’s academic performance, social interactions with peers, private family situations, etc. The child or another student may share information with you or a teacher may choose to share with you in order to enhance your ability to appropriately serve a student’s needs.
Regardless of how personal information about a particular child comes to you, that information must be held in your strictest confidence. It is never to be shared with other volunteers, parents, acquaintances from the community, or other students. Should you be concerned that the information needs to be addressed by the teacher or principal, report it to them immediately.
To help, here are some sample issues that can arise.
“Wasn’t it cute when Johnny…” No matter how innocent, cute, funny, or charming a classroom event may be, it is not okay to repeat stories about students. What happens in the classroom stays in the classroom.
When parents ask you questions… Many parents are tempted to ask you about how their children behave at school. This is especially likely if you are friends outside of school. If parents do have questions or concerns, encourage them to talk to the classroom teacher or the principal.
When you see or overhear something… As a volunteer, you might see or hear things from staff or students, which they would not want to have repeated outside the school. What happens in the classroom (or the hall, or the gym) stays at school. If you have concerns about something you see or hear, please talk to the teacher or the principal.
When students tell you about their family, pet, vacation, etc… As students become comfortable working with you, they might decide to share something personal. You need to keep this information private, even if you know the child and their family outside of school.
When you have a concern... If a student tells you something that causes you concern tell the teacher or principal. If you observe something that troubles you, tell the teacher or administration. They are in the best position to deal with the issue appropriately.
As a volunteer if you suspect abuse, report it immediately to the teacher or principal. They are required by law to report any suspicions regarding abuse, neglect, endangerment, or exploitation immediately. Additionally, they need to know if any students are involved in dangerous or illegal activities so that they may intervene as soon as possible and keep the school community safe.
Medicine and First Aid
No medication can be given to any student. Therefore never provide a student with any tablet, capsule, or ointment. This means you are not to provide aspirin, Tylenol, or a cough drop to a student either. Some students may require medications at specific intervals. Send students to the office where medications, permission slips, and records are kept.
If a student is sick or injured, alert the teacher immediately.
It is important to recognize that your classroom teacher is a well-trained professional who can offer many insights, tips, and strategies to help your volunteering be as productive as possible. You may have questions regarding the teacher’s management of students or discipline. Don’t hesitate to find an appropriate time without students present to ask. Often, a teacher may have a specific plan in mind that will be helpful for you to know.
On occasion, you and your supervising teacher may arrange to have some of your volunteer service completed at home. Certain projects may be prepared for you to take off-site; you may conduct research or do phone calling, etc., from your home. This arrangement is fine as long as you and your supervising teacher are comfortable with it.
There are many opportunities to go on field trips with students. As a chaperone and teacher assistant it is important that you help assist the teacher by insuring that the students are safe and accounted for and that school rules of citizenship and safety are uphelpd during off campus trips. These rules include, but are not limited to the academic attire, citizenship, social standards, and audiotronics policies (found in the YACS Handbook, pg. 22-26, 30). Please check with your teacher for specifics or any possible exceptions.
There is a special transportation sheet that will need to be completed and approved before you can transport any child other than your own on an off-campus trip.
Student Behavior Management
As a Volunteer you may be faced with student behavior issues. Please be sure you are familiar with stratagies to stay in charge.
Touching A Student
· There are many ways to show a student you care without touching.
- “Thumbs Up"
- “High Five”
- Genuine praise
· In general, less is better.
· K-4 students may ask for a hug; keep hugs brief and always side-to-side.
· A light touch on the hand, arm, or shoulder is acceptable for younger students.
· Never kiss a student.
· Small children should be encouraged to sit next to you, not on your lap.
Additional links on this topic: