Why do Voluntary Work? David's Story

Rachael C

May 08, 2017

Voluntary work in schools is a great precursor to teacher training. If you are thinking of getting into teaching then completing a 10 hour placement over a term with the Tutorfair foundation could be perfect for you! Would you like to know what a placement is like? Read on for volunteer David M’s story in his own words.

David M’s Voluntary work experience

“I was not new to volunteering, having been a Gamesmaker at London 2012. Tutoring was also something I knew something about. I've taught Russian, French and English over the years.

Tutorfair came across the horizon in early 2017 as I geared up to apply for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) in Modern Foreign Languages. Step one was to spend time in classrooms of various schools. This was to satisfy the training providers that I was serious and that I could learn about working in a modern school and therefore help students succeed.

I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed the experience of observing young people learning. I enjoyed helping them to learn and learning with them. A big part of this is my passion for languages and it is great to share the interest with others.

David M Voluntary work in Schools


Starting Voluntary work experience in schools

As my ITT application progressed, I knew I had to earn money to cover the time up until the course started. A friend suggested Tutorfair where I could find private clients who need tutors for their exams or just to help with their studies. As I started to get enquiries for private tutoring I became aware of Tutorfair Foundation. The foundation organise volunteers to help schools and students who need tutoring but do not have the means to pay the market rate.

After signing up I then attended a very interesting training day in North Greenwich. There I heard inspiring stories of how Tutorfair volunteers are making a real difference in the lives of young people.

We learned about the challenges of child protection and were introduced to the Tutorfair system. The programme organises volunteering for 10 hours, the second half of which can mean the volunteer becomes a very useful assistant in the classroom or starts working with small groups of students or even one to one.

Since I attended the training, Tutorfair gave me a free gift - a full DBS check. The DBS certificate allows me to enter schools and to be added to the update service. I applied for some volunteering opportunities on the Tutorfair website, and therefore discovered that a couple of local schools were interested in getting help with their French and Spanish classes.

Voluntary Work in Schools

The Voluntary work placement

For my voluntary work placement I spent two days per week in the school. I helped with French and Spanish classes in the second half of the Spring term in years 8 - 11 with a range of abilities. My duties ranged from observing quietly, through to working with one or more students on an assignment. My knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject helped to encourage the students to persist. And maybe even start to enjoy the learning experience.

From time to time my presence in the classroom was helpful to the teacher in maintaining behaviour standards . Standing close to a disruptive young person can be quite effective, even without saying a word. The volunteering workload has been useful for me in acclimatising me to the pressures of the timetable because I have been learning a lot about teaching from observing and participating. In parallel my private tutoring has been ramping up, and I have no doubt that my confidence is growing too.

Consequently, I have applied to the schools I am volunteering with, to join their School Centred Initial Teacher Training schemes. I'm sure my volunteering will enhance my CV and therefore give me a great chance of being accepted for September."

Want to get involved? Sign up today with the Tutorfair foundation.

You can find David M on Tutorfair.