Make Adult Helpers Feel Welcome!

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Make Adult Helpers Feel Welcome! Empty Make Adult Helpers Feel Welcome!

Post by hodgkisb on Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:57 pm

It's great to have so many new docents and assistants joining us this year! Here are some ways to make sure we continue to recruit new volunteers:

Make sure you introduce yourself to all adult helpers. Thank them for coming. Show that you are happy they came to the tent! Find out how they'd like to be introduced to the children. (e.g. Mrs Smith? Miss Maria?)

if they arrive on time before the lesson, introduce the helpers to each other. Emphasize that ATGO should be a POSITIVE experience for everybody!

Take a few minutes before each lesson to let the helpers know where they are needed. Will they be passing out materials? Modeling steps to the artists? Helping clean brushes after? Encourage them to use scratch paper to demonstrate/model different skills. Discourage them from touching the children's work. Explain that we don't have enough artist-grade materials for them to complete the project individually. If there's plenty of time and you have brand new parents, note that each project is copyrighted.

If helpers have small children in tow, find a way to include them. Generally speaking, it's distracting for younger siblings to work alongside our artists, but usually there's plenty of room at a table just outside the tent. Again, regretfully, we don't have the budget to supply siblings with artist-grade materials, but there's lots of scratch paper and sometimes leftovers that they can enjoy!

Recommend each adult helper work at a table where their child ISN"T sitting. (We all know kids behave differently when their parents are around. Unless a child has special needs, it's usually less distracting for them and for their parent to work separately)

Introduce the helpers to the class. Thank them again!

Give them clear directions during the project. Before the students leave the tent, ask them to say thank you.

After the class, ask for feedback. Is there something we can improve next time? Encourage them to come again, even if it's not their child's class--we always need help. Thank them again! (Yes, I know it's a lot of thank you's, but we really appreciate the help!)

On VERY rare occasions, we have a parent behave badly--taking over their child's project, berating their child, etc. Unless there is a safety issue, don't correct the parent publicly--you'll just embarrass the child. Try to redirect the parent, and discreetly ask the teacher for help if you need it. Always tell Steve about any problems you have, and, if the situation is bad enough, tell someone in the front office (in private!).


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Post by Angela R on Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:00 am

Great info, thanks Nancy!

Angela R

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Post by Montez911 on Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:35 am

I can't think of anything else to add to Nancy's comment. Get well said!


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