My volunteering at ACES is enlightening and fun. I am learning that I am a relatively shy person in front of seventh and eighth graders. I never expected myself to be so. It is awesome to help students who are really interesting in learning.
The days are structured so that when I arrive there is choice time for the students, which I think is there to help them unwind a bit. After that it is the ACES curriculum, if there is one for the day, and then homework help. The homework help session is often very productive because there are multiple volunteers there to help the students. I would usually work one-on-one with one student with the homework they have to finish.
While helping a student with their math homework, they were faced with the option to either go to the gym or computer lab or stay or finish their homework. The student chose to stay and work on their homework with me, which was nice because that made me feel, as my time with the students was productive and well received. Taking the time to explain concepts in either math, geography or history is fun and really helped the students understand the concepts and to reinforce the importance of what they are learning.
Other times when the students did not have homework, we would play educational games, such as flash cards, which was fun because it was made into a fast paced game.
I am finding that the students are respectful and gracious that we are there to help them one-on-one to finish their homework. Talking to them about going to college and what they want to do after high school is really fun as well. It is a community school and I do not know if I feel that is part of the reason why they are more interested in learning or not. The students are very respectful of not only the volunteers and teachers, but of their peers as well.
My experience with ACES has been nice. I enjoyed helping the students and acting as a positive role model for them.