Find Your Inner Teacher – Volunteer Opportunities!

Find Your Inner Teacher

By Linda E. Saris and Glenn Burns

Perhaps you have raised children and, like most parents, helped them with homework and surrounded them with enriching extracurricular opportunities and lots of wanted (and unwanted) advice. Or perhaps you are working, studying or retired and have an interest in passing down you expertise to the next generation.

As students yourselves you knew which teachers were great – the ones that sent home interesting projects – the ones that stimulated you (or your child) to think and explore new ideas.

So now is your chance to bring out your inner teacher and translate your skills and experience as a professional (or parent) or a hobbyist with a particular expertise and get a group of middle schools excited to learn more.

LEAP for Education and the Salem Public Schools are partnering to provide all the 6th and 7th graders with the opportunity to expand their horizons and learn and do something new in STEM, Digital Design, Media and Marketing, Arts, Business, Law, Government, Civic Engagement or Fitness.

The success of this enrichment opportunity will require the recruitment of twenty volunteer community instructors to share their experiences.

What does a community instructor look like? We are looking for professionals (current or retired), college students or parents. No teaching experience is required. You will be paired up with a school day teacher or paraprofessional. All you need is a passion for working with youth and an area of interest and expertise you would like to share in an engaging, hands-on way.

LEAP will be using curricula and lesson plans prepared by Citizens Schools, a widely recognized non-profit based in Boston MA. Community teachers do not have to prepare lesson plans as they are all done. They will, however, be able to adapt any of the lesson plans.

LEAP will support community instructors by arranging speakers and field trips and providing any supplies needed.

If you have 3 – 6 hours to spend a week from September 25th through December 11th from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm on a Monday and/or Wednesday, please contact Kayla Dorst at 978-740-6667 x 114 or email her at

For more information and to peruse curricula and lesson plans, go to LEAP for Education’s website:


Linda Saris is the Executive Director of LEAP for Education, a Salem-based academic program providing academic support, enrichment, college access and advising services to over 500 youth on the North Shore. Ms. Saris is a long-time Swampscott resident.

Glenn Burns is the Principal of Collins Middle School in Salem, MA