The ideal candidate for this volunteering opportunity is a bilingual French-English speaker, who wants to become a dual immersion teacher, who loves being around children and/or who wants to learn how to teach online K-5 children.
This is a volunteer role, two to four hours a week, depending on your availability. The virtual playtime runs one hour a day, Mondays through Thursdays, in the middle of the afternoon, during the school year. Additional time to debrief and coordinate with the activity leader may be required (approx. 3o minutes-1 hour per week).
At EFBA we believe that children learn best through play. Besides our afterschool, children are invited to partake into a playtime. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, our in-person playtime has migrated online. The now virtual playtime meets the same 3 educational goals of our camps:
1.We want children to remain active and to move!
Child psychologists have long established that movement is proven to soothe anxiety and fight depression, not just in adults: our activities are designed to provide a minimum of physical activities.
2. We want children to be exposed and speak French!
Children won’t be staring passively at the virtual activities. They will be encouraged to interact with the facilitator, with the activity leader and with their peers in French.
3.We want children to create social and emotional connections with their peers! Due social distancing during the pandemic, the children's universe has shrunk . Still they have social emotional needs. The 2 tele-recesses are designed to create a safe space to make friends and play freely.
Our virtual playtime takes place online from 3:15 pm PST till 4:15 pm PST, before or after our afterschool program, Mondays through Thursdays.
It is composed of two 15-minute supervised "tele-recesses" ("télé-récrés"), from 3:15 pm PST until 3:30 pm PST and from 4:00 pm PST till 4:15 PST, and one 30-minute session of structured activities.
During the tele-recess, the facilitator is the only adult in the virtual playground.
During the structured part of the virtual playtime, a leader leads the activity and the facilitator supports the leader.
For the children’s experience to be rewarding and engaging, both roles have to collaborate and work as a duo.
Role of the volunteer facilitator:
During the 2 tele-recesses, the role of the facilitator is to "lay back", while making sure that nobody is bullied and all children feel included.
During the structured activity, as a facilitator, you will be helping the leader on every "behind the scene" aspect.
This role is critical for the session to run smoothly and be a success for participants.
Please read carefully the guidelines below as they contain a lot of helpful tips and recommendations and will give you an understanding of what to expect during the live session, so that you are prepared.
Before the live session:
1/ Be ready to welcome participants online 15 mns before the structured session starts to check the technical aspects (the link works, the sound, the camera works, etc..).
2/ Let the children "play" by "themselves". Encourage them to speak French. Make sure the chatbox does not go awry or reverses to English.
During the live session:
1/ Allow children to enter the meeting if you see any requests. Count children and verify attendance. If anyone is missing, check your attendance sheet and call the parents. Maybe they need help locating the class code or link.
2/ At the beginning of the session, welcome everyone and encourage children to put their camera and microphone on.
3/ All children should have the camera on and the microphone on to be able to actively participate and engage with the activity leader and the other children. Teach the kids where to unmute themselves.
4/ If for some reason someone is really loud or there's too much background noise that is disrupting the activity, you may mute the child, but remember they need to be able to unmute themselves to interact and communicate. So remind them to unmute themselves as soon as the instruction is given.
5/ If you still see children who don’t have Camera or microphones on, after a few vocal reminders, contact the parents (you will receive the list of names and phone numbers).
6/ if there's a technical program and the leader has to log off and back on, the facilitator must keep kids entertained, jump in and lead the activity: Be ready to take over if needed.
7/ Mute yourself during the session and speak only if you have to. For example:
- To communicate with the leader of the session in case you cannot see / hear him/her (i.e too far, muted, music too loud, leader not in the frame or frozen)
- To play the activity or help your colleague lead the activity (which we encourage you to do - but keep in mind that you may need to leave the activity at any moment to solve technical or other problems)
- If you have to take over the session
- If you see inappropriate behavior from the children which is disrupting the session
8/ Monitor activities on the chat box. If you see a student who is using the chatbox so often that it’s disrupting the session, or who is posting inappropriate messages, contact the child’s parents during or after the session to let them know.
9/ Record moments of the live session (take screenshots, screen recordings - remember to check if some parents have opted out and do not want their children's pictures to be taken, even internally) - Record activity for training purposes when instructed by your supervisor.
10/ Keep your phone close at hand with the Slack application open, in case the leader/your supervisor needs to contact you.
After the live session
1/ Thank everyone on the Google Classroom stream and share some nice screenshots / video recordings you may have taken so that parents can see them.
2/ Debrief with the session leader to see what went well and what needs to be improved
3/ When necessary, contact parents about child’s behavior you may have observed during the session.
All interactions between the facilitator and the leader need to take place in French.
Interactions between the facilitator and the parents may be in French or in English depending on the context.
Interactions with the children need to happen in French. In case of conflict, sorrow, or visible distress, exceptional recourse to English may be allowed but needs to be analyzed after the session with the Supervisor.
Never make comments on the children in French (even in slang) through the Zoom chat box or orally. Always use Slack.