By Mannching Wang, FCSN Youth Volunteer Coordinator
When FCSN temporarily closed its programs to comply with Sheltering in Place for safety to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the San Francisco Bay Area, I was glad to hear that our FCSN volunteers wanted to continue teaching programs to our children.
Jacob Wang and his team, teachers of South Bay Family Gathering (SBRG) percussion class, were the first volunteer group to reach out to me about their intention to continue the percussion class virtually.
I discussed this proposal with the SBRG program coordinator and Linmei Chiao, head of FCSN’s Volunteer Support Team, and decided this would be a great idea using online video. Fortunately, the volunteer teachers of the art class and the movement class also expressed interest in continued teaching through videos.
I provided guidelines to the volunteer teachers for virtual teaching. For example, the instructors should greet students at the beginning of the video, followed by showing their students what they planned to teach in the video and providing students with a list of materials required. I recommended teachers choose easily-available project materials that students could find in their homes. I also recommended that instructors go step-by-step for each skill at a pace suitable for our special needs students. At the end of the teaching video, I recommended the volunteer teachers say goodbye and praise the students.
After SBRG virtual classes were established, I continued to recruit from FCSN’s volunteer database for teachers interested in creating a class and teaching virtually. Volunteers stepped up and created drawing and story-reading classes for all FCSN students.
Linmei encouraged me to launch 1:1 virtual teaching. We paired one volunteer with one student, depending upon the student’s interest and tailoring the class to the student’s individual needs. FCSN now offers 1:1 classes in science, music, drawing, reading, playing games, among others. Parents played a major role in 1:1 classes by training volunteers, preparing teaching materials, and sitting with their children during the 1:1 sessions.
Finally, we tailored a virtual teaching program for students with limited function. We coordinated a small social group with size of five to six students where non-verbal students have higher enrollment priority. Using google meeting, volunteers lead story reading and music activities. Students also participate in fun activities like show and tell.
From my viewpoint, this virtual teaching response created a win-win situation for FCSN family and our youth volunteers as well as our students. Our children got the opportunity to work with a peer not only on a specific subject but also socially interact with regular peers. Our youth volunteers received a great opportunity by learning how to develop a teaching plan, teaching in step-by-step fashion, and modifying their teaching for our special needs children. Years from now, our youth volunteers may look back on this time as an opportunity to learn how to work with our children and bring this experience to the rest of their lives and their community, benefitting the understanding of special needs people.
Parent Feedback for 1:1 Virtual Tutoring Program (SNTutoring)
“My son’s tutor Minjae has been wonderful. He came really prepared to the session. He used photos, videos, and drawings to help my son understand the concepts. I even learned a few things from him. Minjae is so young yet so professional, patient, and encouraging. I can’t express enough how thankful we are.”
“Katie has been an excellent tutor. She is always well prepared with slides and online reading material. I asked her to read Scholastic stories or news online with my son. She took the time to pick out stories that my son is interested in and prepared slides with vocabulary list and introduction for pre-teaching. Once she found out more about my son’s reading level, she adjusted her material accordingly. We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated and observant tutor in this “shelter-in-place” period. Please let her know how much we appreciate her effort.”
“Stephen Kwak is Ansley’s 1:1 tutor. He is well prepared with teaching materials every time. He use both zoom and class board as teaching tools and is very patient. Ansley is happy to have such excellent tutor during this shelter-in-place period. We also appreciate your time and effort coordinating the tutorial classes!”
“My son’s 1:1 tutor, Andrew Wang is also wonderful. He seems to have lots of math tutoring and Zoom experience. He tested out Brian’s levels item by item (count to 100, count to 1000, 1 digit add, 2 digits add — etc.) He is also open to suggestions, like skipping clock reading because I don’t think it’s needed. He is very effective in using the Zoom White Board, be able to stamp/paste objects and money on the White Board for clear effective teaching. Thank you so much for the fine training and coordination of this wonderful 1:1 tutoring program.”
“Nisa Khan has been wonderful with Victor. She was a natural teacher. She was clear with instructions, usually come prepared with materials and sometimes follows up the class with reviews and homework. She also found articles, videos, and quizzes online to aid the teaching. The review email has been really helpful, and we’d appreciate more of them.”
“Eric did an excellent job! I was surprised to find out what he can make Van-Hai talk so well! Thank you very much to give us this opportunity!”