Edina Public Schools Volunteer Program
Tips for VolunteeringThe most valuable thing you have to offer, as a volunteer, is your friendliness and caring.
- Learning a student’s name is very important. Call the students by name at every opportunity.
- Demonstrate your interest in the students by asking them about their activities and LISTENING.
- Closely observe the teacher to see how he/she works with students and try to model. Consistency for students will enrich their experience.
- Help build students’ self-confidence by pointing out the improvement you see in their work, manner, etc. Praise student honestly and often.
- Be positive, patient and reassuring. It may take time to find your niche.
- Accept students as they are. Be ready to accept differences in background, culture, values and vocabulary.
- Be comfortable with silences. Allow students time to think and form answers.
- If you don’t know something, don’t be afraid to say so to students.
- Keep calm and talk in a quiet controlled voice.
- Above all, maintain your sense of humor and enjoy yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will I know if school is cancelled due to inclement weather?
The decision to close or delay school may be the result of inclement weather, loss of power, water main break and/or other emergency situations that may occur within the district. The Superintendent works with the Director of Business Services to verify the conditions of the roads and the ability for all buses to start and drivers to be able to arrive in time for routes to run. Whenever possible, the decision to close school will be made by 5:30 a.m. While the volunteer program will do its best to contact volunteers, information on school closings and delays will be posted on the district homepage as well as listed in local media outlets. Learn more here.
If I am providing one-on-one support for a student, can I contact them directly?
A volunteer’s contact with students is limited to scheduled time during your volunteer assignment. This protects both you and the student(s). All volunteers work under the direct supervision of a teacher, staff person or school administrator and should follow their direction accordingly in terms of when you are scheduled to work with a student.
What if I am going to be late or unable to attend my scheduled volunteer time?
If you are unable to make your commitment, notify the staff person and the volunteer staff as soon as possible.
What should I wear while I am volunteering?
Wear appropriate, practical and comfortable clothing when you volunteer.
Do I receive training for my volunteer role?
There will be scheduled volunteer orientation prior to the start of your volunteer placement. If more specific training is needed for your role, you will be provided with such. Workshops may also be held periodically to provide growth and information to enhance your volunteer experience.
What do I do if a student is misbehaving?
Volunteers may not discipline students, but please report any problems with student behavior to the supervising staff as they are responsible for any disciplinary actions.
What do I do if I have concerns about a given student?
Volunteers are considered mandated reporters. As a mandated reporter, you must report when you have knowledge or reason to believe that a child is being or has been neglected or physically or sexually abused. Volunteers are expected to report any incident or suspicion immediately to a staff person.
Due to privacy laws, consider all information about student progress, performance and behavior to be confidential. In addition, consider personal details learned about teachers’ and students’ lives to be private information. However, you are welcome to discuss any of this information with your supervisor or Edina Volunteer Program staff if any of the information creates cause for concern.