Be a JA Classroom Volunteer!

Be somebody special!  Become a JA Classroom Volunteer.  JA volunteers tell us THEY gain as much as the students they inspire.  JA makes all the arrangements with local educators, offers you a choice of dates and times, provides you with engaging classroom materials and lesson plans.  Your weekly, 1-hour visits over a 6-week period can make a difference that will last a lifetime. 

How can I volunteer?  Just let us know you're interested in serving as a positive role model for our students.  We'll introduce you to a teacher in the Greater Tri-Cities or Walla Walla who has requested to host a JA program in his/her classroom.  The two of you then work out specific dates and times for you to come to the classroom and present the JA lessons.  JA staff is always ready to assist you, of course!

What is the time commitment?   Less than you might think!  JA programs are very doable.  Depending on what grade level you choose, you can expect to visit your assigned classroom on a weekly basis for five, six or seven weeks during the school year.  You'll teach five 45-minute lessons at the elementary grade level, or up to seven one-hour lessons at the middle school and high school levels.

What types of lessons will I be delivering?  Generally, all teaching topics are based on the themes of financial literacy, career exploration and work preparedness, and entrepreneurship.  Specific age-appropriate lessons are designed for students to understand the role of workers and consumers in the local economy, assess students' future career opportunities, understand international trade and apply job related skills in the workplace.  Your JA Progam Coordinator will give you specific information about the topic for the grade level you would like to teach.

What is the best grade level for my experience?  Trust your instincts.  Volunteer for the program that allows you to work with the students in the age group you like best and to deliver lessons about topics that interest you.  The key is having a great desire to help kids succeed!  Because JA materials are carefully designed to align with school standards, there's no need for you to create a lesson plan.  It's already there for you!

What should I do as a classroom consultant? You should be delivering the Junior Achievement lessons and activities as outlined in the curriculum given to you by JA and you should share appropriate life experiences and your know-how.  Give lots of examples to help students understand the realities of a workplace environment.  Show interest in the students and their progress.  Reinforce and encourage responsible behaviors and make the learning experience one that is fun for you and the students.

How do I prepare for the classes?  Junior Achievement provides each consultant with a lesson kit containing the step-by-step information you will need to conduct the classes.  Each kit contains a Consultant and Teacher Guide that describes each lesson in detail.  The kits also contain many fun, engaging, hands-on activities and brightly colored visual aids to help keep the students interested in the subject.  On the average, it should take you a little more than an hour to prepare in advance for each lesson.

Will I get training?  Yes.  Junior Achievement provides a 2-hour training and orientation for all new consultants so you'll feel confident and prepared to teach in the classroom.

What type of support should I expect from my host teacher?  Your host teacher will welcome you to his or her classroom!  Many teachers have hosted JA for several years and recognize that JA is truly a valuable program for their students.  The partnership you create with your assigned teacher is key to a successful program.  He or she will help you with activities associated with the lessons, as needed.  The teacher is ultimately responsible for the class when you are visiting and should remain in the classroom