One of the most dynamic ways to change the world as an individual is to teach. I don’t mean become a teacher. (Most of us, actually, should not do that. It is a special calling.) What I mean is volunteering to teach a class to people who are on the margins of society or that you have a heart for. This can be people in prison, kids at a local after school program, survivors of human trafficking, people who have recently immigrated, families at a local homeless shelter, or even other members of your community at a church Sunday school, or community center. This volunteer opportunity requires a relatively low commitment (once a week, with some prep time), but can really effect people. Also, it is a lot of fun to improve your own skills and build relationships during the class, so it does not even feel like work. If this is something that interests you or you feel God nudging you towards, I created a little guide to help you land the volunteer teacher position
1. Brainstorm. Hold a little one-on-one brainstorming session with yourself. First, figure out ideally who you would want to teach the class to? What organizations in the area work with this group of people and are very established? What do you want to teach about? What you teach about has a lot to do with one, your audience, and two, who you are. For one, audience is everything. Pick a topic that they actually would care about or need to learn about. What are your talents? What did you study in college? What interests you? If you can’t think of any talents or skills to pass along, think about things that you would like to learn or that you do a lot. Once you have this information written down, it is time to move to step 2.
2. Schedule the class. Ideally, one of the organizations on your list has some kind of lifeskills program already in place where they asks for volunteers to teach classes. This was my situation when it came to teaching a class at Wellspring Living. In this case, just go through the regular volunteer intake process, and express interest. If they do not have this program, compose an email expressing the desire to volunteer in this way. Most likely, they will want you to volunteer in their regular program first. However, I think that when volunteers prove themselves hardworking and reliable, organizations begin to rely on them for larger projects, like classes.
3. Plan, prepare, and expect everything to be different than what you expect. This one is pretty self-explanatory, but needs to be said.
Finally, have fun and know that you are making a difference. We all have different abilities and experiences for a reason. How great is it that God can use these to show his love for people and make a positive difference in their lives?