Volunteer of the Month: November
Congratulations Sarah Hofbauer!!!
Sarah currently has a child in our classroom. She has committed at least 3 full days a week to our classroom as of mid October. However, she has been volunteering weekly an hour here and there since September.
Sarah has been a tremendous help ensuring that classroom staff and students have her full attention and support where ever needed. She has attended center meetings and asks for clarification and feedback to ensure she is in compliance with agency policies and classroom expectations. She implements feedback provided and strategies suggested with students and daily routine of classroom. Even with our most challenging students, she is using strategies suggested and also finding clever ways to help de-escalate unsafe situations. For example; when a child was upset due to being asked to comply with classroom rules and routine, the child began screaming, crying and kicking, Sarah came over and distracted the child by asking them to help her, which distracted the child enough to move on from being upset. She was then able to get the child to comply with the classroom routine and expectations.
Sarah has also been modeling language development and implementing open-ended questions with students. At meal times, she is sparking conversations and/or following the lead of student topics. She probes for students to expand on their responses for example: we had bagel ham sandwiches and she stated “I wonder where ham comes from?” and this lead the students into a full conversation at their meal table.
During outside time, she has picked up on some of the games we have played and takes initiative to round up a group of kiddos and begin a game, for example: Red Light/Green Light, Freeze Tag, pretending to have restaurant in play house.
On a daily basis she is helping with meal set up and clean up; she is ensuring students are washing hands; she is modeling at one of the tables during tooth brushing; she greets parents; she eats with the students; she interacts with students at free choice; she helps lead one of the small groups so there is an adult at each group; she verifies how many students are present to ensure accurate counts, especially after transitions from outdoors. She has learned the routine and most of songs/rhymes; she reinforces classroom rules and expectations with students on a daily basis. She also helps with classroom cleaning such as sweeping and bleaching tables. She also tends to kiddos needs for band aids or ice packs if teachers are unable to immediately help due to challenging situations occurring in classroom. Sarah makes sure to use proper blue latex gloves prior to helping these kiddos. She ensures using the clear gloves during meals when handling foods that require more than just serving utensils to separate or serve. She consistently reinforces meal time rules for health and sanitary safety (ex. if student has put hands in bowl, food is disposed of properly). Sarah is consistently providing positive statements and encouraging words with students during the daily activities.
Overall, Sarah is a huge help and addition to our classroom, she does so many things (it’s as though she is our 2nd Teacher and/or TA). She is a positive addition, the students are excited to see her every morning and ask about her if she is gone. She contributes a positive vibe and relationship with students and staff.