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Volunteer Teacher Guidelines

In order to promote volunteering in LISD schools, it is essential for all volunteers to adhere to a professional code of ethics. We ask that volunteers pay special attention to the following items:

Volunteer Code of Ethics

1. Attitude: Volunteers are recognized as professionals. In that role, a professional attitude is assumed one of mutual respect and confidence. Remember to be friendly and courteous at all times. Please come to school with a good attitude, one that will say to the principal, teachers and students that you are happy to be there and that you are glad to have this opportunity to work with them.

2. Classroom Management: Although the classroom teacher is required to remain in the classroom during the Spanish lessons, the volunteer is expected to reinforce the classroom rules of conduct. Appropriate language and behavior are expected of all volunteers.

3. Dependability: Make a professional commitment to be dependable and on time. Please notify the school as soon as possible if you are unable to come to school and fulfill your volunteer commitment. The teachers and students are counting on you. If any issues arise that will keep you from fulfilling your commitment please let the classroom teacher know right away.

4. Communication: We want your volunteer work to be a great experience. If you have any questions concerning policy and procedures, please ask the appropriate person: the teacher, the Campus Spanish Coordinator, District Spanish Volunteer Coordinator, or the principal.

5. Confidentiality: Like teachers, volunteers have a code of ethics to keep confidential matters within the school. Discussion of confidential matters and criticism of students or school personnel is inappropriate. As a volunteer, we do not want to be responsible for sharing any information that might be detrimental to a student or staff member.

6. Support: As volunteers, you are in a support position. You can also expect to receive the support of the classroom teacher, the office staff, the Campus Spanish Coordinator and the District Spanish Volunteer Coordinator. If you have any questions, concerns or need guidance, please ask the appropriate person.

7. Dress and Grooming: Volunteers are to reflect professionalism in dress and grooming. Please come dressed as you would expect a classroom teacher to dress.

Volunteer Spanish Teacher's Guidelines

1. All volunteer teachers must fill out an annual online volunteer application which includes a background check. They must be cleared by the district prior to volunteering at the school. The application is available at:
 Volunteer Application

2. The district provides basic training and teaching materials. All district-provided teaching materials must remain at the school.

3. The district provides all lesson plans necessary to teach each grade level. They are made available online for easy access from home.

4. The Spanish Program Games and Activities Handbook is available for volunteers. The district Spanish lessons DVD and the Risas y Sonrisas instructional DVD can be checked out from the coordinator. The Spanish program music CD may not be removed from the school. The Risas y Sonrisas teacher’s manual and CD may not be duplicated in any manner due to copyright laws.

5. The volunteer teachers will select a day of the week and a time of day that they will be available to teach the Spanish class(es) for the school year. The campus’ Spanish Coordinator will assign all volunteers to classrooms according to their time availability. If your schedule needs to be changed, please contact the Campus Spanish Coordinator and the classroom teacher as soon as possible.

6. Contact the classroom teacher prior to the first day of Spanish class to introduce yourself and to discuss the classroom discipline procedures. Also provide the teacher with your contact information so that he or she may reach you.

7. If you are unable to teach your class for any reason, please notify your classroom teacher as soon as possible. If you cannot reach the teacher directly, have the office notify the classroom teacher that you need to reschedule your class time for another day that week, if possible.

8. If you know at least one week in advance that you will not be able to teach your class, try to arrange for a substitute. Check with the Campus Spanish Coordinator for a list of approved substitutes or make arrangements with someone else teaching within the program.

9. Volunteer teachers are encouraged to work as part of a team within their specific grade level(s). This will help to cut down on class prep time. The Campus Spanish Coordinator can assist you in setting meetings or contacting the other grade level volunteers. At these meetings you can discuss what subject material you will cover next and set up your lesson plans for the coming weeks. Don’t forget to follow the school district matrix and lesson plans for your grade level. This is a great time to look over subject material together and share ideas.

10. During the first weeks of the program set aside some time to label each of your Spanish classes with classroom labels. These will be provided by the Campus Spanish Coordinator. First, go over each word and then place them around the classroom where they belong. These labels will remain in the classroom all year long. Refer to these labels as often as possible.

11. You can incorporate some geography, cultural information, or interesting facts regarding Spanish speaking countries that you might have. Children really enjoy this but make sure cultural information is appropriate. Always ask the classroom teacher before presenting cultural material.

12. Remember to be flexible. Be ready to change gears if a lesson is not going well. Go prepared to class with plenty of materials.

13. If you have any problems contact the Campus Spanish Coordinator.

Have Fun!

Helpful Teaching Suggestions

1. It is normal to be nervous on the first day of class. Spend the first day of Spanish class introducing yourself and getting to know the students. This helps to put you and the students at ease.

2. Be well prepared for the class. Classes don’t always go as planned, so be flexible and have a backup plan. Classes are often affected by different variables such as upcoming holidays, weather, etc.

3. Familiarize yourself with established classroom rules and procedures. Let the students know that classroom rules and procedures still apply during Spanish class. If students are disruptive, remind them of the classroom rules.

4. If you have students who have difficulty sitting still and waiting their turn, work with them in a positive manner. Have them help in the class activities (games, handouts, etc.). Encourage them to work on waiting their turn to participate and make a point of reinforcing positive behavior. (These students often do better with lessons that incorporate physical activities.)

5. If you have shy students in your class, do not call on these students unless they raise their hands. (Make sure to allow sufficient wait time after a question.) It also helps to stand next to them when they are answering a question. If they answer incorrectly focus on the attempt and not the incorrect answer. An example would be “That’s a good try and your pronunciation was great, but I’m looking for a different answer. Would you like to try again?” If they look upset then turn the focus away and ask the other students to raise their hand if they would like to try answering the question.

6. Students in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program usually participate in the class and enjoy learning Spanish just like all other children. Sometimes it might take them a little longer to participate and sometimes they will pick up Spanish much faster, especially if their native language is similar to Spanish. These students usually respond better with visual cues.

7. Occasionally you may have students in your class who speak Spanish. Remind the students that they are all in class to learn. Spanish speaking students can still improve their reading, writing, and vocabulary skills in Spanish. It is not unusual that other students in the class will rely on these students to answer all the questions you may ask in class. You may occasionally ask the Spanish speaking students to assist with classroom activities. This will allow the other students to try harder and will still include the Spanish speaking students in the class activity.

8. During the school year, new students may be enrolled in your class. This will not pose a big problem since the program is designed to review old subject material along with new subject material.

9. The most important thing to remember is that you come to class prepared, excited, and enthusiastic. Have a good time. The students will follow your lead.