The Value of BSV Volunteers

Host Teachers’ Testimonials

“Teachers know that no matter how well we differentiate the lessons, there will be students who are left out.  Kim was my Berkeley Schools Volunteer last year and she made all the difference for my most vulnerable students. She had the time, patience and understanding to work with those students who needed a little extra attention in order to access the material.  Having a Berkeley Schools Volunteer in my classroom tipped the scales toward equity and access.”

-Liz Little, 6th Grade Math & Science Teacher, King Middle School

Trish enters the room with a bounce in her step, a smile on her face and is ready to help. She has positive energy for all of the kids, even the ones who struggle at times. She is willing to help file and make copies too! …I look forward to her days for personal reasons, too. We share lunch and chat. It’s the only adult time I get all day! I cherish it.

-Kim Beeson, 1st grade Teacher, Rosa Parks Elementary

“When Mrs. Okamura is in the class, I can put students into groups and we both can be giving targeted instruction to small groups.  She helps focus students, checks in with individuals, and supports students one-on-one.  She creates relationships with students, getting to know them, asking about their lives, and motivating them to do well. She is always there with a pencil, calculator, paper or a kind word for all students…Every year students express their gratitude for having her in the class.  I don’t know what we would do without her.”

-Geeta Makhija, Math Intervention Teacher, King Middle School

More Volunteer Appreciation

“A volunteer like Charlie needs very little direction. He brings ideas to the classroom, is flexible, reliable, hard-working and so encouraging – to the students AND to me. My students truly benefited from his ability to work individually with them. You know how each class has a couple of students (at least) who you just keep thinking, “If only I could spend a little more time with them…”? Well, someone like Charlie can do that. He would seek out the students who needed that extra push to finish assignments and then patiently work with them. Some of my most hesitant students blossomed with this extra care and time. I am so thankful to have crossed paths with Charlie!”

-Anne Hirose, 3rd Grade Teacher, Thousand Oaks Elementary

Mr. Mike makes math work for my students. He patiently and skillfully gives support to those who need extra help with their math homework, and my students are more confident, prepared, and competent in math because of him. The fifth graders and I are always delighted and relieved to see Mr. Mike each day, and he has become a significant part of our school community.

-Jenny Weddle, 5th grade Teacher, Emerson Elementary

“Bob is so consistent and invested in the kids. He has a connection with all of them and they readily call him over during math centers for help. When he leaves, they all call, “Bye Bob!” and he’s off to the next class. He’s very flexible and rolls with whatever we have going on. If there is a sudden change in the schedule or even when we go on a field trip, Bob will volunteer to come along. He is a true part of my classroom community and a person I have come to rely on.”

-Hilary Mitchell, 3rd Grade Teacher, Washington Elementary

“Marion offers a whole different range of skills. She usually connects with a few kids and works with them, bringing out their creativity. She is an astute observer and has great insight into the kids’ personalities, needs and wants. She often spots subtleties that I miss.”

-Kim Beeson, 1st Grade Teacher, Rosa Parks Elementary

Charlie has an amazing and positive way of interacting with the students.  This positive interaction allows the students to quickly recognize that Charlie is their ally.  As soon as the children recognize that Charlie can not only help them in the classroom but also outside on the yard – and even the cafeteria-  they cannot wait to ask for Charlie’s help.  At the beginning of the year, when the students don’t yet know how to get on the swings or how to swing, you see Charlie helping the students get on and pushing them for as many times as the students request his help.    

-Patty Casetta, Kinder Teacher, Thousand Oaks Elementary

“Bob has volunteered in my classroom for the last 8 years, helping students learn challenging math. He is patient and guides them to greater understanding. I look forward to the days Bob will be with us, knowing that more of my students will get the support they need…All of the students appreciate his consistency and dedication. When he walked into our classroom on graduation morning, the students burst into spontaneous applause.”

-Laura Jokela, 5th Grade Teacher, Washington Elementary

Thank you to all of our amazing volunteers!