I found myself talking to a colleague this week, about what was working and not working in our programs, and what we were wanting to do about that.
And the things that worked and didn't work in her program, with similar enough volunteers and similar enough classes, were not all that similar to the things that were working and not working in our program.
Which, was kind of surprising.
But, good conversations make you think, and lots of times things that look different on the surface have some similarities underneath. So I drove home pondering why they were different and how they might be similar.
And, by the next day, I could see that there were some key components. (And I could imagine the infographic)
For volunteers to succeed there's some element of at least three things:
A clear role for the volunteers in the class (otherwise it's aimless)
The volunteers work is aligned with and connected to the rest of the class (otherwise it's random)
And, you need solid communication between the volunteer and teacher (otherwise there's confusion or conflict)
However else the role is structured, whatever subject, whatever level, you need these to make it work.
So, teachers and volunteers, if it's working, congratulations. If it's not, maybe this helps you diagnose what's missing? And/or, maybe you call me, or email (that's so much more convenient) and we figure it out together.