clear What Are Some of the Challenges
You Will Face?

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Finding enough time to plan and teach lessons, provide feedback to students, and evaluate your program will be among the biggest challenges you will face. Keeping up with students; updating lesson plans; grading papers; writing tests and quizzes; creating activities; and communicating with parents, teachers, and other community members involved in the program take more time than the actual instruction. Volunteers need to understand the significant time commitment required; it's important to support each other to make that commitment work.

Another ongoing challenge you will face is recruiting enough new teachers. Remember to recruit new teachers on a regular basis. Advertise your program in area high schools and youth centers. Have experienced members of your group train the newcomers.

You will also have to work on an ongoing basis to keep lessons fresh and interesting. Try relating your lessons to current events or popular performers to capture students' interest.

Maintaining energy and enthusiasm is a challenge for even the most experienced teachers. Remember to tailor every lesson to the particular ages, interests, and abilities of the class. Teachers should meet periodically as a group and find out how others keep learning exciting and deal with classroom management issues and other concerns. Allow teachers to switch subjects or observe other teachers, when possible, to keep them interested in and excited about the program.

Finding program support -- whether donations of teaching supplies, copying services, meeting space, or money -- is an additional challenge for any cross-age teaching program. Although these programs are not expensive, extra supplies and other support can make the work easier for everyone involved.

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Youth In Action Bulletin July 1999   black   Number 06