give me advice on volunteering in the classroom - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 07-11-2003, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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anything at all.

My boys go to a wonderful Montessori school, and in order to pay their tuition, I have the chance to be a teaching assistant in the classroom. I don't know what age group yet. The choices are 3-6, 7-9, and 10-12 (years old, not grades).
I voluteered a few times in the HeadStart my ds attended, but I am a little anxious about this. I really want them to put me in the older group, as I eventually would like to teach teens and young adults, but of course I don't have a say in that, at least I don't think so.
I'm not even sure what I'm asking you guys for. :LOL
Give me your funniest and saddest and craziest and most heart-warming assistant stories, I guess.

And of course, any and all advice is supremely appreciated
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#2 of 4 Old 07-11-2003, 01:44 PM
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When I was in high school, I volunteered for work in the local elementary school in which my younger brothers and sisters attended. I got credit for working there and I enjoyed getting to know all of my sib's friends and other children on this level. I also volunteeered with the local PTA for many projects.

I volunteered there all through college and worked in the language lab making masters and transparencies and mimeograph copies ( remember the purple ink - and smell?) I organized and category I also worked in a clothing class in the high school level and in a Spanish class on the high school level.

I learned alot about organizing and recordkeeping in the classroom and working in a school in general, which is something you will carry with you when you work with older students as you desire.

Younger students' lessons require more preparation of materials than older students' lessons; this has been my experience. so you may be doing alot of cut outs, sorting, laminating, and lots of one on one.

I also worked in my children's classrooms when they were little. I was actually asked to leave one day when they were working on Mother's Day projects; I would have liked to help the other students!
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#3 of 4 Old 07-11-2003, 06:50 PM
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I've had good and bad experiences with volunteering. The worst was being left to supervise 30 kindergarten children. They knew I had no authority, and even at that tender age, they knew that if the teacher left the room, it was the signal to GO WILD. The funniest was offering to read a story and having a child ask if I would please stop reading with so much expression because it made him "nervous". The nicest parts are when you get to sit down and do something one-on-one with a child and you see the light go on that the child has learned something or made a discovery.
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#4 of 4 Old 07-12-2003, 12:12 AM
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I think you wll benefit greatly from either age group. My children also attend a Montessori school, and I learned so much during their pre-school years. But each time one of them moves into the next age group, I find that there is still something to be learned.

If you are interested though in learning more about actuall Montessori practices, the younger the age group the better. By the time the kids are about 8 or 9 years old (3rd grade technically) they are going into the abstract. Simply put, doing more work on paper and relying less on the materials. Each year, they will use the materials less.

Either way, you are lucky to have an opportunity to have this experience. I volunteer about 400 hours a year in many different aspects of the school, and I just love it!

Good luck!!!
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