Pros: helping kids, teaching them the value of education
Cons: pay, lack of support from staff, no positive feedback, site coordinator has favorites and is rude
I feel like the students at my site were like show dogs, made to go through rigid, nonsensical motions. It's really simple, after-school programming should not mimic "real school," that's incredibly exhausting for students and Think Together expected us to work magic like teachers.
Yet, no student is going to take a program leader's high academic and – more... behavioral expectations seriously when we are unable to seriously voice concern to parents and staff about a student. The only sort of help/feedback you got was how to put them in straight lines or proper ways to circulate around a classroom while not having your back turned. Ridiculous. Also, very very rarely did I ever receive praise.
There were days when I got the class to be quiet and do homework, and to me that was a miracle and I felt proud to show that my site coordinator. Yet she did not care, she already had her favorite and would always just talk about her.
Rarely does homework get done because program leaders are not allowed to tutor one-on-one and occasionally a volunteer will come.
Also, program leaders are supposed to act like teachers who are constantly engaging students with last minute things they do want to do (for ex: snack time used to be 20 minutes where the kids just eat and chat with friends, hear announcements, all of the sudden 2 months in my site coordinator asks me to start implementing competitive games during snack and tracking points between each group all before recreation time).
Doesn't THINK TOGETHER understand it's an after-school program? AKA - Not school. Making them do math or vocab activities for 45 minutes is unrealistic. Why not just focus on allowing the students to finish their homework, play, and rest a little until their parents come to pick them up?
There's this fake "savior" mentality and ineffective, unprofessional, and unhelpful staff and rules. God this place was awful. My site coordinator insulted me and I feel was manipulative. For example, it would be nice if the site coordinator disclosed who was special needs. I don't have a PH.D in Psychology, so what appears to be bad behavior/inattentiveness is really ADHD - would be helpful to know! – less