As a REFOCUS volunteer, you will be paired with a teacher based on mutual interests in grade level and subject matter expertise and location. One of the most important aspects of REFOCUS is continued interaction between you, the teacher, and the students. We have found this is much more effective than a single 'drop in' event by a STEM professional. You and the teacher will develop a plan that best fits each of your schedules, but we ask that you spend some significant time in the classroom during the semester (approximately 30 hours total).
Your experiences will be valuable to the students and teacher. We realize, however, that you may have had relatively little teaching experience. Prior to teaching in the classroom, we will provide you with online resources to enhance your interactions. We will also provide personal support. If you are going to be in a K-8 classroom, you will participate in some of the early-semester activities of Project FOCUS. If you are going to be in grades 9-12, we will provide several individual sessions.
Many studies have shown that hands-on activities enhance effective learning. While it is likely that you will not need to design the specific lessons that you teach, engaging the students in active learning will be important. We have many resources to assist you in developing these activities.
As you are involved in the classroom, we will continue to interact with you to support your teaching efforts. We also anticipate having one or two gatherings of all the REFOCUS volunteers to share best practices.