Today, Experience Corps Team Leaders returned to Baltimore City Public Schools to meet with teachers and assess needs for the upcoming school year. And you thought it was still summer, didn’t you? Team Leaders are Experience Corps members who have been promoted to coordinate the volunteer team in their school. In addition to providing general support for the volunteers, Team Leaders interface with the staff and administration to maintain a positive relationship between the Program and the school.
Above all, Team Leaders help to ensure a win-win relationship between the school staff, students, and volunteers. Thanks in no small part to their hard work, volunteers like Sandra Davis at Margaret Brent Elementary/Middle School have many success stories to tell about their experience. Here, Davis reflects on her first year as an Experience Corps member and looks forward to returning this year:
When I first walked into Ms. Jirsa’s kindergarten class back in January 2009, I saw 16 pairs of eyes looking up at me. I thought, “oh my! What have I gotten myself into?” But as the days and weeks passed, it was very rewarding. This is how it went:
You see, coming to a school three days a week and working side by side with a pleasant and wonderful teacher helped a lot. It opened my eyes early on to how important it is to bond with your teacher and students. It creates a most fulfilling atmosphere for teaching and learning. It also stabilizes good behavior and enhances the student’s learning abilities in the classroom. What makes it exciting and rewarding is to see those little eyes gleaming with joy when you tell them, “job well done.”
The best feeling I get out of this program is knowing most students will move on to the next grade well instructed and knowledgeable. And I, as a volunteer, will still have constructive knowledge to give the next group of students in the fall.
If the above situation does not exist in the classroom, the the program is not effective. Our presence and expertise is definitely needed in our schools.
Thank you Experience Corps and Margaret Brent administrators for filling in the void after retirement!