Extracurricular Involvement for Teachers
Are you looking for a way to stand out among your colleagues? Consider participating in some extracurricular activities. These opportunities will allow you to see another side of your students, while also making a name for yourself within your educational community.
1. Get Involved in an Extracurricular Activity that You Are Passionate About
Look for extracurricular activities and opportunities that match your interests and expertise. For example, if you are passionate about photography, then you might be an ideal candidate to lead a photography club or mentor the yearbook staff. If you are passionate about exercise, consider coaching long-distance running, soccer, or another sport that you particularly enjoyed as a child. Make a list of the experiences and skills you possess that would make you a natural leader for an existing or brand new extracurricular activity.
2. Partner Up
Don't presume that you have to lead an extracurricular activity alone. In fact, partnering with another staff member could prove to be far more fun. Look for another staff member who shares similar interests and skills. Alternatively, you could seek out a fellow staff member who might be able to trade off days and responsibilities with you, so that you wouldn't have to run the entire extracurricular activity on your own.
3. Make It Fun
The whole point of having extracurricular activities at school is to expose students to different experiences and allow them to develop skills that they will need in the real world. At the same time, extracurricular activities allow kids to have fun and practice their social skills at the same time. As a teacher, cultivating an atmosphere of fun and learning via an extracurricular activity allows you to see your students in a different, more casual atmosphere. At the same time, they get to see you – the teacher – having fun and being relaxed. The opportunity to share this type of exchange on a regular basis can foster a deeper type of respect between you and your students, which can spill over into the regular classroom.
4. Create Rules
While extracurricular activities are designed to be fun, it's also important to communicate with your students about your expectations. Can they bring a snack with them? Should they arrive immediately after the school day ends? What will happen if they are late? Also, what are your expectations for how they enter your space? Should they come in peacefully and have all of their supplies with them? And what about being picked up? Do parents have to sign their children out, or can the kids leave on their own and meet their parents outside? Think about these rules ahead of time, and be sure to communicate them to your students and their parents. In addition, make sure that all of your rules comply with your school's student handbook as well.
5. Communicate Your Needs
As a dedicated teacher, it's easy to begin spending your own money, and an exorbitant amount of time, facilitating an extracurricular club. Instead, make sure that you communicate your needs to your building principal or supervisor and, if appropriate, to your students and their parents. There's no need for you to spend the extra money you're earning by sponsoring an extracurricular club on the very things that are needed to run the club. Make sure that you give others a chance to participate and make their own contribution of time and resources.
6. Train Student Leaders
Don't forget to pass your leadership skills on to the participants of the extracurricular activity you are facilitating as well. This will reduce the load that is on your shoulders, while also helping your students to take ownership of the club and their work.
Finally, running an extracurricular activity can allow you to get to know your students on anther level, while also making a positive impression about your dedication to your school and your students on your supervisors and the larger school community.
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