I’ve Decided to Become a Volunteer

I’m assuming that you are probably familiar with Daily Teaching Tools, my website devoted to free resources for teachers.

And, if you are, you may also have noticed that I am very fond of advocating that administrators spend specific periods, on a regular basis, in the classroom teaching students.

That also applies to anyone in a position to be large and in charge or in a seat that allows them to legislate changes that will directly impact our classrooms.

I’m finding myself to be in a similar position here.

I’ve been out of the classroom for two years and four months now–I need to reconnect and continue to make a difference in the lives of our young people.

Yes, Daily Teaching Tools has been a way to continue impacting kids in a positive way–thanks to YOUR efforts.

But still, I think that I need to do more.

This is certainly not the ideal time of the year to be seeking employment as a teacher, or for that matter, a paraprofessional–particularly in these economic times.

I know that volunteers often are offered permanent positions simply because their competence, enthusiasm, and devotion to duty impress their superiors.

I’m certainly not trying to impress anyone here, I just simply want to reconnect with something I love.

With this in mind, about two weeks ago I went to Mandarin Middle School, a relatively new school located just about 3 miles from my home.  I placed my valid Florida Teacher’s Certificate in a file folder and took a 10 minute drive to get to the school.

I went directly to the main office and waited for the principal’s secretary to finish a phone call to a parent or whoever she was speaking.  There was no one else in the office at this time.

When she put the phone down and asked me if she could help me, I said, “I’m here to volunteer to help in your school.”

“Oh?”  she said with eyes widening.

“Yes, and here is my valid Florida Teacher’s Certificate,” I continued as I opened my file folder and showed it to her.

“Wow!”  she exclaimed, as she got up from her desk and approached me at the counter.

“I have a Master’s Degree and a full ESOL endorsement.”


“I have 33 years classroom experience.”


“I also have a website devoted entirely to teachers and students,” I said as I gave her one of my business cards.”


And, then she had more to say than just simply, “wow!”

She went on to say that they desperately needed a media center specialist, a computer lab teacher, and hall monitors for standardized testing during the month of April, just for starters.

I mentioned that I was available for pretty much anything within the reach of my capabilities and experiences.

She was delighted.

But, as you might imagine, there were a couple of flies in the ointment.

First, I have to fill out the online request for a background check before they could proceed.  That makes sense.  They certainly don’t want to open their school to an ax murderer.  So, I assured her that I would comply.

Additionally, the person I needed to talk to was out sick that day.  As a result, the secretary gave me a slip of paper so that I could record my contact information.

She then attached my Daily Teaching Tools business card to my contact information and assured me that they would be contacting me just as soon as the background check was completed.

I returned home shortly thereafter and completed the online background check request.  About four or five days later I received a written copy of that background check, and as you might imagine, there was NOTHING incriminating or damaging to my character.

I received the results of that background check about a week and half ago.

No one from Mandarin Middle School has contacted me since.

Coming Tuesday: My Return to Mandarin Middle School?