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ESOL Lead Student Relationship Manager
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Recruiting Organization: A Faith That Does JusticeESOL Lead Student Relationship Manager
(~ 8 to 12 hours per week)
A Faith That Does Justice (AFTDJ) is an interfaith organization that challenges people to experience God by living their faith intentionally in service to others. We do this by showing how unjust societal structures marginalize people and by acting to help those in need. Our vision is people intentionally living their faith in action.
The Student Relationship Manager (SRM) is a mentor to a small number of prospective, current, and former adult English Language Learners. While they have no teaching or tutoring responsibilities, SRMs mentor and support students so they get the most benefit possible from participation in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program of A Faith That Does Justice. Doing so requires SRMs to have frequent engagement with students, teachers, and tutors. The SRM must have strong interpersonal skills and speak Spanish and/or Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Russian, etc., preferably as a native, as well as English.
The Lead SRM has all of the qualifications of an SRM and has the skills to lead other SRMs. This role description includes the duties of a Lead SRM and an SRM since the Lead SRM will also have their own students for whom they act as SRM.
Lead SRM duties include:
In order for each volunteer to understand the organization, class structures and how to successfully work with the various other volunteers, a strong onboarding experience is critical. Trainings, platform protocols/guidelines, regular check ins and "know who to contact when..." are resources that many still need to have in place. User adoption of technology tools needs to be addressed immediately and will ensure everyone is confident in their role.
- Provide AFTDJ email and confirm successful login. Set expectations for use of this account for AFTDJ relevant communications
- Add user to Slack and confirm user fluency. Provide introduction to new users and solidify best practices and user settings. Confirm individual channel assignment
- Review SharePoint access and document sharing best practices
- Appoint an SRM buddy for new SRMs and encourage attendance of SRM meeting
- Assess any technology training needs (MS Teams, Slack, Excel, Zoom, WhatsApp, etc)
As SRMs begin to support students, they need to understand their own role within the AFTDJ process cycle and structure. Introductions need to clearly identify who and how often they will work with and support each term. Teachers need to know who are their assigned SRMs. Students need to understand the SRM role and how they will support them. SRMs also need to feel confident in knowing that they are supported and where to go when they face challenges.
MS Teams or Slack introduction to AFTDJ volunteers and JVS partners seems to be a good first step. This is a general, more public introduction.
SRM leadership and support structures:
It is not always clear who the SRM looks to for addressing challenges or reporting concerns. There is a sense of shared responsibilities across the different roles but no sense of a reporting structure. In a volunteer run organization, this can be difficult, but it is important to understand roles and know who is there to support you. Many times, it has been confusing because instructions or messaging from varying leaders have also been in conflict. This can leave volunteers disenfranchised and lacking trust in the organizational strategies and structures. Check-ins and meetings each cycle can be helpful to keep things "in sync."
Assigned classroom teachers:
SRMs and teachers should have clear, more direct introductions to each other. Then a designated space (MS Teams or Slack DM group), where they can communicate and collaborate directly, should be created. This needs to happen quickly so that relationship and process building can be in place as SRMs begin reaching out to students.
Assigned classroom students:
Before an SRM reaches out to a student, they should be aware of the student’s primary language, and which students may be new to AFTDJ. For new SRMs, providing a script could be helpful. This first step to meeting students can be confusing. Students engage with several different representatives during their registration process and it is important to start this relationship on the right foot. Consider a 1 st day of class outreach by an SRM to the students they will work with. Some returning students may still feel comfortable communicating with previous SRMs and we should consider this in the communication strategy.
Providing SRM volunteers with the right tools, leading with clear communications and supporting each other along the way...these are key elements to successfully retain SRMs as they continue to support ESOL students. A calendar with advance notice for all recruitment activities, classes, meetings and any additional known commitments is integral to meeting the needs and goals of the ESOL program and its volunteers.
Naturally, each class team (teachers, tutors and SRMs) will have different styles for collaboration. There is, however, an opportunity for setting some high level structure and tips. Document sharing, attendance reporting, SRM update log and any other cross organization collaboration can be outlined to better guide volunteers through each cycle.
Advance communications around registration should be sent with enough lead time to understand who is available to assist in the process as well as clear expectations for completing the tasks. It is important to understand the program’s time horizons and what needs can be met by SRMs? Example - SIF process: Inquire which SRMs are available and ensure all have access to the same document with clear assignments and updates entered in one place.
Recruitment and Registration deadlines:
Limiting recruitment and registration efforts to not continue once a class cycle has begun, can better serve the students who registered on time and minimize the pressure and workload on teachers and SRMs
Similar to the registration process, understanding the start of a class term and the calendar (holidays, length of time) of the term should be communicated to all volunteers. Any SRMs that are not available during a long stretch of time within a term, should communicate this to teachers (anyone else?).
Consistent participation vs Absence:
As we see nonresponsive students or students who begin to miss the majority of classes, it is important to understand where to draw the line. Attention to committed students and keeping SRM resources focused and engaged should be the ultimate goal. Accountability for those who do not respond to messages and continue to miss class is an important lesson for all involved.
Attendance and feedback:
Creating a standard for attendance tracking and SRM updates is not only helpful for keeping tasks organized, but will certainly keep all volunteers informed. Providing direct guidance if a student needs extra attention, or providing positive feedback is a great way to guarantee we’re all in sync.
Conduct and setting boundaries:
It is important that all volunteers and students feel safe and that all members of the community act with respect and kindness. Community standards could be a helpful place to begin setting those expectations. This can include the use of language, the use of technology (WhatsApp and Zoom), or any environment in which words and physical space can be used to harm or disrespect someone.
Other needs outside of SRM role:
Tasks or volunteer opportunities that are outside of the specified SRM role should be recruited across various volunteers. Clear deadlines and communications should be provided as additional needs may arise. In general, this seems to be a challenge when seeking help, especially when very short notice is provided. Consider a directory of ad hoc volunteers that could be "tapped" for certain tasks that may arise. This could be good for folks who can’t commit to longer term but can step in for very short assignments.
Volunteers are dedicated to a mission in which they strongly believe. The nature of such work is that most are contributing their free time and managing it between their full-time jobs, home life and so much more. There is no "one schedule" for this growing team and building these structures will keep the organization on the best path for success.
SRM duties include:
- Frequent engagement by email, text, and phone calls with each student to provide recognition of their efforts and acknowledge the challenges of learning a new language.
- Encourage active and on-going attendance and follow up with any student who is absent to offer genuine concern, help, and support in an "all out" effort to enable the students to obtain the best from the program.
- Surveys students on class content and value to the student
- Identify health and social services needed by a student and work with the Director of the ESOL Program to refer the student to organizations providing the needed the services.
- Periodically meet with the Lead SRM to discuss overall student needs and resources available to them.
- Provide "light weight" technical support to any student needing assistance with accessing or downloading apps required for class.
- Recruit new ESOL students.
- Maintain contact with former ESOL students and monitor their progress.
- Encourage students to actively participate in AFTDJ Community Meetings and Workshops
- Support AFTDJ public communications by relating non confidential student experiences and stories in support of the program.
Language/Cultral Support AvailableFalse
Fee Amount: None
This opportunity is recurring
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February 17, 2022
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