February 27, 2015 5:00 pm

Volunteers embody the heart of Junior Achievement. Our passionate volunteers transform the key concepts of our lessons into a message that inspires and empowers students to believe in themselves, showing them they can make a difference in the world.

We understand that this important work can sometimes be intimidating – particularly for first-time volunteers.  That is why JA provides a number of tools to help volunteers feel comfortable in the classroom. One of the newest training tools is The Real Volunteer Experience video that depicts a volunteer presenting a JA program in a real classroom at Thomas Jefferson High School.

The 10 minute video gives the volunteer a realistic example of what they can expect to encounter during their classroom experience and helps them understand how they can most effectively engage their students in the curriculum. Volunteers can see successful methods of engrossing students in the activities, methods for addressing challenges that arise during their instruction, and the most effective ways to partner with their classroom teacher. Footage of the volunteer’s interaction is punctuated by a debrief of exactly what the volunteer did well and why her methods will make a difference.

Matt Nicolo, the teacher featured in this video, says, “it is so relevant for these students to hear professional industry experts coming into the classroom and to relate the material that the student is learning from the teacher to actually what’s going on in the real world.” Now, as our volunteers continue to bring the real world into the classroom, this authentic demonstration of best practices creates a valuable resource that volunteers can emulate in their own classroom experience.

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