While volunteering is usually not directly tied to classroom instruction, it is still a great way for students to explore careers and interests.

Setting Up In-School Volunteering Experiences

Volunteering can include more informal experiences or one-time events. If students are not already involved in volunteering experiences outside of school, consider an in-school volunteering experience such as:

  • Supporting a teacher with preparing classroom materials (i.e. photocopying, laminating, or decorating the classroom)
  • Helping to set up for a school event
  • Joining a club that participates in volunteer work
  • Working with the school IT department to identify computers needing repair

Reflecting on Volunteering

Since volunteering experiences are a form of career exploration, reflect with students on how it aligns with their preferences, interests, needs, and strengths:

  • How did volunteering tasks match their goals or interests?
  • How did they show their strengths while volunteering?
  • Did they like this volunteering experience? Why or why not?

Career Exploration while Volunteering

Since volunteering experiences are often one-time or short-term, students may have the chance to explore various careers at multiple sites. While they are volunteering, they can observe or interview someone they are working with to see what it’s like to work at this job. See the lesson on Informational Interviews for more information.

Example: School Beautification Project

A student in your class is volunteering to help a teacher decorate their classroom and hallway bulletin boards. You can support this student by reflecting on their experience volunteering.

  • Did they enjoy the job tasks of decorating and organizing materials?
  • How did they work with the teacher? Did the teacher give specific instructions or did the student make decisions about how to decorate?
  • How do they think that this project benefited the school community?
  • After completing this volunteering experience, what other types of volunteer experiences would they like to try?