What exactly will I be teaching?

You'll be teaching programs about financial literacy, workforce readiness and entrepreneurship created by professional curriculum development staff at JA Worldwide. JA programs begin at the elementary school level, teaching children how they can impact the world around them as individuals, workers and consumers. JA programs continue through the middle grades and high school, focusing on the key content areas of financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship.

What is the time commitment for a JA volunteer?

At the elementary school level, you'll be teaching five 30-45 minute lessons. At the middle and high school levels, you'll be teaching five to seven lessons of about 45 minutes each. Volunteers also spend about 45-60 minutes familiarizing themselves with each lesson's curriculum before presenting it to the classroom. We also strongly encourage volunteers to visit the classroom once before beginning the lessons.

What time of day would I be teaching?

The vast majority of Junior Achievement classes occur during normal school hours - typically 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., though the exact hours will vary by district. Volunteers coordinate with the classroom teacher to determine the exact time of day and day of the week that you'll visit the classroom.

What if I have never worked with students before?

Don't worry! Many of our volunteers haven't been back in the classroom since graduating, and yet finish their lessons eager to teach JA again. All JA volunteers are provided with training by JA staff, and the classroom teacher will always be present to deal with any issues that may arise.

Do I need to create the lesson plans and activities?

All of the lesson plans and activities are provided in an easy-to-follow guidebook, and the program kit that you'll be provided includes all of the materials necessary to implement the programs.

Do I receive any sort of training before entering the class?

Absolutely! All JA volunteers are trained by Junior Achievement staff before entering the classroom.

How do I become matched with a class?

When you complete a volunteer application, online you will then have the ability to search and select a class from the list of teacher request.

When do I visit the class?

JA strongly encourages all volunteers to visit the class they'll be teaching in at least once before beginning the lessons. The day and time of the classroom visit will be scheduled directly between you and the teacher.

Will I be alone in the classroom?

No - the teacher will always remain in the classroom to assist with any issues that may arise.

How can I find out where JA volunteers are needed?

Register with JA Engage and view a list of classes

Can I teach in my child's class?

Absolutely! Many of our programs are taught by parents who would like to become more involved in their child's class. Indeed, several local schools that JA programs are offered in are taught entirely by parent volunteers!

How does volunteering to teach a Junior Achievement program benefit college and university students?

Junior Achievement's programs:
  • Enable volunteers to explore education career possibilities by teaching children in a grade level of their choice.
  • Create opportunities for college students to practice and refine their public speaking and presentation skills.
  • Help business majors better appreciate their field by becoming the teachers for a younger generation.
  • Offer a fun and rewarding break from academic studies.
  • Provide team-building experiences for college students who choose to teach together.
  • Allow volunteers to make a positive impact on the lives of today's youth.

 

In the Classroom

After I receive my classroom assignment, what should I do next?

The first step will be to contact the classroom teacher you'll be working with. The teacher's contact information will be included in the materials we provide you with when you receive your program kit.

What type of information should I request from the teacher before entering the classroom?

  • Determine the specific dates and times you'll be entering the classroom.
  • Discuss classroom roles and class management.
  • Find out whether parking is available at the school.
  • See if there are any particular school and classroom rules are in effect.
  • Find out where to check in when you arrive at the school.
  • Exchange emergency contact information in the event of school delays or closings.
  • Determine what action to take in the event that you or the teacher are absent on the day of a scheduled visit.

What should I wear when visiting the school?

All volunteers should dress as they would at work when entering the classroom - business formal or business casual are both appropriate.

What should I do if I am unable to attend a scheduled session?

Please contact the teacher as soon as possible so that they can create alternate lesson plans and so that you can reschedule your visit. Be sure to give your teacher at least 24 hours advance notice.

What kind of support should I expect from my teacher?

This depends upon the specific teacher you're with - some may become actively involved and relate the current topic of discussion to lessons the class has already covered, and some may simply help to maintain order during your visit. All teachers will remain in the classroom at all times.

What should I do if the teacher is absent?

You and the teacher should create an absentee policy before the first class visit, as some teachers may prefer to be present on the days you conduct your lessons, whereas others will have no objections to you teaching with a substitute teacher covering for them.

What can I expect from the students?

Many students have had JA volunteers in their classrooms before and are excited to have a JA volunteer in the classroom again! After your observation, review all classroom procedures and rules with the teacher and let the students know that you will maintain the same standards.

How do I reward and recognize students?

Review the instructions in your program guidebook for specific suggestions. Saying "thank you" when students respond to your questions is always appropriate! If you want to bring candy or other token items for rewards, please be certain to check with the teacher first. Often, something as simple as sticking colored dots on their table tents as a reward for participating can be a big hit, especially with elementary school students.

What do I do if I lose control of the class?

Refer all discipline problems to the teacher. Work together with the teacher and allow the teacher to enforce class rules and deal with behavior issues. Remember, you are the classroom guest, not the disciplinarian.

What can I do if I'm not reaching all of the students or if some students aren't participating as much as others?

Realize and accept that each student will respond differently and will learn and communicate in a unique way. Quiet students may be just as engaged as active students. Likewise, don't be surprised to see students who are uninvolved or appear uninterested. Ask your teacher about these students to see if they have any insights on how to draw them out or if this is normal behavior. Don't become discouraged! Be sure to vary your activities and methods to capture different students at different times. As students get to know and like you, they will be more engaged and responsive to you. Be patient with yourself and with them. Above all else, create a learning environment that is positive, fun and rewarding.