Why Role Models Matter To Children
Role models are crucial for children, in all senses. They learn by seeing adults doing good things and the same applies to adults who look up to role models.
Idols, or role models, in other words, have been significant since the beginning of time. And I bet you know a few of your own role models. They’re the people you look up to and try to emulate for success — parents, siblings, teachers, and friends, just to name a few.
“We tend to become like those we admire.”
– Thomas Monson
Telling children what to do isn’t enough. They need guidance from someone from someone who can show them by example how to live their lives more positively. Role models should be people who children can relate to — someone who’s been through similar experiences, whether good or bad, and learned how to overcome them. In the past two years, children have faced more stress than before, especially in school, making it even more crucial for them to have someone to look up to.
Role models shape children in many ways. They teach them about values and about being responsible for themselves and others. When role models are selected properly they can help kids grow into responsible adults just like them.
Be a role model — volunteer in schools
How? — you might ask.
You can be a role model by volunteering in a school. Yes, you read that right. Being an idol for young kids can be easier than you think. Here are some ways in which you can make that happen:
Tutor: Many schools need tutors for their students. The school system provides the curriculum and you provide the student with one-on-one attention. The student will gain confidence and better test scores, while you earn community service hours.
Teacher’s Aides: Some schools need adults to help out in classrooms throughout the day. You could be assigned to assist special-needs children or help out with general education students on a daily basis. This will give you an opportunity to see how a teacher deals with behavioral problems and learn which methods work best.
Volunteer at a fund-raiser: Schools often have to raise money for field trips, equipment, and other educational necessities. You could volunteer your time at events like car washes, bake sales, or silent auctions for games like bingo and raffles. The money raised goes to purchase supplies that the school could not otherwise afford, such as books, computers, and science equipment.
Work in the school cafeteria: Doing this will give you the opportunity to build relationships with students, even if it’s just for a short time during the day. You’ll be surprised what impact a smile has — and that’s all it takes to turn anyone’s day around. If you greet every child lining up for food with a smile and a kind word, they’ll learn to do same. Beware: smiling is contagious!
Schools are on the lookout for role model volunteers as well
It’s also important to have a specific skill that’s useful to the school. For example, teachers are often looking for people who can give them help with technology. Maybe you’re a good writer and you can help with newsletter articles or creative writing assignments. Perhaps you’re an artist who can give students feedback on their work. Whatever your skills are, offer them up and let the schools know what you can do to help out. Schools often look for volunteers and approach volunteer organisations.
3 steps to start volunteering
Step 1. Contact the school
The first step you should take when volunteering at your child’s school is to contact the school directly. Ask the school secretary how you can get involved and what opportunities are available.
Step 2. Sign up for an orientation
Many schools have orientation sessions for new volunteers that provide you with an overview of what being a volunteer entails. You will learn about details such as dress code, safety procedures, student interaction policies, and more. Make sure to attend the orientation if one is offered by the school.
Step 3. Complete the required training
Some schools require volunteers to complete training before interacting with students or other staff members. Be prepared to submit proof that you have received training once you have completed it. Most training courses last from four to six hours. Your local school board will likely offer this training at no cost.
Volunteering in schools helps children gain valuable life skills in addition to the knowledge and skills they learn from teachers. It also allows you to be a positive role model for young people who may look up to you as a mentor. If you’re considering becoming a volunteer or looking for inspiration — check out 1Hour.