After retiring, I considered various volunteering opportunities in my community and decided that EdConnect Australia was a great option. It allowed me to volunteer at a local school with the knowledge that I had local support within an established program.
I wanted to be able to use my work and life experience to help teachers do what they do best. The range of abilities within classrooms today provide a challenging environment for both teachers and students. I wanted to help them by being another person who was there to support the learning environment.
My current volunteer position is in the South Geelong Primary School library. The librarian is only funded for one day per week and it is impossible to keep on top of everything without help. I try to remove some of the basic workloads so that she can focus on education and encouraging students to love books. Previous to this, I volunteered in the Year 3/4 classroom, it was challenging at times to find a balance when supporting the students, for example, helping them to find a solution rather than just answering their questions.
I have enjoyed my time working in the library as I can see the difference that I make immediately. I also enjoyed working with a student who focused on what she couldn’t do rather than recognise her strengths. We had great conversations about how she could challenge herself to look at things differently when she was feeling discouraged. It is only a small thing but it gave me great satisfaction.