Your role as a volunteer

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Your role as a Volunteer

  1. All volunteers should set a good example by their manor, appearance and behavior.
  2. Volunteers should review activities to be presented in the STEM Center web site prior to each event.
  3. Volunteers are there to lead and/or assist each field trip. They are not responsible for student discipline. Behavior issues are to be brought to the attention of STEM Center staff, Teachers and/or chaperones.
  4. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to engage with the group at all times. Do not take phone calls, text etc. during presentations and activities. If you are waiting for further instruction regarding a lesson and/or activity, engage directly with participants if possible. Introduce yourself etc.
  5. This is a learning opportunity for everyone.
  6. Ask questions that might lead students to answers instead providing the answers. For example:
    • Why do you think that?
    • How do you know?
    • Could you give me an example?
    • What do you mean when you say . . .?
    • What data/examples do you have to support your position?
    • Tell me more about . . .?
    • How might you validate or confirm . . .?
    • Ask students to add on to what someone else said
  7. Be patient. Give the students as much time they need to understand.
  8. There are no wrong answers. Be mindful of your wording, what and how you respond to student’s questions.

Communication Skills – There are a number of tools that can help facilitate working with students:

  • Active listening: Active listening simply means you put a great deal of effort into listening to what a student is trying to say.
  • Non-directive approach: The non-directive approach is just another reminder to not tell students what to do. It is disempowering to these young people to always be directed.
  • Open questions: These are questions that cannot be answered with a yes or no. Yes or no answers are conversation-enders.
  • Paraphrasing (reflective listening): Paraphrasing is also known as reflective listening because you reflect back what the student has just said to you. This is a great act of respect because it sends a signal to the young person that you are truly trying to understand them.

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