Molly Timmins, AmeriCorps VISTA
I had been working with these staff and experts, yet I still felt disconnected to the volunteers and the youth. It was not until today when I went to Adelante’s Volunteer Brunch that I began to feel connected to not only the organization, but to the volunteers. I sat with two volunteers who are nurses who volunteer their free time at Santa Fe Public Schools tutoring children in literacy. They expressed concern about the steep learning curve from nursing to education, and without much teaching experience, they also felt a little lost.
I asked them what kinds of guidance or training would be helpful to aide them in working with their students. Much to my delight they described their experience working with kids who would not be considered ‘the perfect student’, the students who having learning or attention problems and are not the easiest to work with. This sounds like a tough situation, so why do I feel delighted you wonder? Well, one of the workshops I am excited to offer in the fall focuses on just that -- working with students who have learning challenges and how to meet them where they are, engage them, and of most importantly, strategies for working with students as reading or math tutors. The volunteers were asking for exactly what I was hoping to give them! I went into our conversation hoping to learn more about what Adelante’s volunteer tutors were doing with their kids, but I came away with so much more; I learned about what they wanted and how I could support them, fulfilling my role as an AmeriCorps VISTA and feeling validated and even more excited to be doing my work.