1. How do I sign-up to be a WatchD.O.G.S. volunteer?
We use SignUpGenius as a hosted website to coordinate all of our volunteer activities. You can find the link to the SignUpGenius website on the main WatchD.O.G.S. page under Programs or by clicking here.
2. What if I can’t commit a full day?
Ideally, a full-day commitment is preferred to get you around all the grades. However, we realize that you are working around day jobs, so you have the option of a morning half-day or afternoon half-day slots. Check out the SignUpGenius site for options.
3. Is there anything I need to do before I volunteer.
Yes, there are two important steps that you need to complete before you can be a WatchD.O.G.S. volunteer, which are mandated by AACPS. First is to complete the Volunteer Background Check process found at this website: http://www.aacps.org/chaperone/. Second, you need to view the Volunteer PowerPoint available in the Media Center (stop by the main office and ask to view the Volunteer PowerPoint).
4. What do I wear?
We hope that you will wear a WatchD.O.G.S. official shirt. We do not have funding to provide apparel, but you can purchase from the WatchD.O.G.S. website at: http://dogstore2.fathers.com. Otherwise, you are free to wear casual attire so as long as it’s “appropriate”, which means nothing with foul language, violent, political, or offensive. Definitely sneakers – you will be moving around a lot. No hats or caps.
5. What should I bring with me?
Bagged lunch, quick snack (protein bar, fruit, etc.), water bottle, pen or pencil. Have a solid breakfast. Complimentary coffee is available in Mrs. Devereaux’s classroom, exclusively for our WatchD.O.G.S. volunteers — enjoy!
6. Where do I go when I start my day?
Everyone must report to the main office to be signed in as an authorized visitor. Be sure to bring your drivers license or government-issued identification. You will receive an AACPS visitor sticker and be sure to ask for a building map. If you are not wearing a WatchD.O.G.S. official shirt, you will be given a WatchD.O.G.S. nametag too. Wear both proudly. Then you will report to Ms. Devereaux’s classroom (room 124) for further instructions, receive your schedule, and start your day according to the schedule.
7. What do I do in the classrooms?
The faculty, staff and administrators are really excited to see the WatchD.O.G.S. at the school. The teachers on your schedule know you are coming, and will be prepared with small tasks/assignments for you. You’re scheduled to spend 45 minutes per classroom. The 4th grade teachers have developed a special curriculum just for WatchD.O.G.S. Bottom-line, roll with it and have fun!
8. What do I do if there is an emergency?
The faculty, staff and administrators are all specially trained for a variety of emergency situations. Your job is to follow their directions just as the students. Occasionally, your schedule will coincide with emergency practice drills. Ms. Devereaux, if she is aware, will make you aware.
9. How do I give feedback at the end of my day?
We have implemented a new evaluation template using the PTA’s hosted website. You will receive an email with a special link following your volunteering day. Your feedback is important to us. You may feel free to email the Top Dog with suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
10. What if I see/hear something in the classroom that I believe is incorrect or inappropriate.
WatchD.O.G.S. must always show respect for the teacher’s authority, and never countermand or contradict them in front of students. As mature adults, you should speak privately and politely with the teacher to share your perspective, or alternatively, speak with Ms. Lawhorn or Ms. Davis directly. WatchD.O.G.S. is not a forum to express your political, religious views or opinions on academic standards (e.g. Common Core).
Never discuss individual student academic performance or behavior with others. You need to respect the individuals in our school and be mindful of the private and personal nature of what you see.
You should not discipline students, but rather alert teachers and/or administrators to any inappropriate student behavior, particularly bullying.
11. Can I volunteer again?
Absolutely!!! You are invited to volunteer as many times as you would like. Our objective is to have a WatchD.O.G.S. volunteer every school day from October 1 through Father’s Day.