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Strategy #2: To orient and educate parent volunteers...offer orientations and workshops

Story: Steve was so grateful that he had two parent volunteers to help with his chemistry lab! With 25 11th and 12th graders working with chemicals, he felt much more comfortable having three adults in the lab, but as he was circulating the room and listening to each pair of students work on their lab reports, his heart sank. Mrs. Allen was dictating to Suzanne and Jackson exactly what to write down! He had just made a breakthrough with that pair last Tuesday in having them work more independently to write their reports. Later that day, he explained to his mentor, “Jill, you wouldn’t believe what I’ve gotten myself into now. I have two parents who want to help me on a regular basis with my labs, and three more who have shown an interest; but one parent was actually doing the lab report for two students and working against what I’ve worked so hard to achieve. What do I do now?”

Talk about...

  • What information would have been useful for Mrs. Allen to have ahead of time?
  • How could Steve provide this information to Mrs. Allen and other parent volunteers?

The Volunteer orientations and Volunteer workshops resources could help Steve and his mentor develop a plan.