¡Bienvenidos!

Welcome to the new school year! Volunteers are needed to make this program a success. Please consider volunteering for this very rewarding program. Training is provided for all volunteers interested.

Check the News & Upcoming Events section for the training schedule.

The purpose of the elementary Spanish language program is to introduce the students to another language during their early years of formal language acquisition. Research has shown that this is the prime time for children to become bilingual, and Leander ISD has chosen Spanish to complement English as the dual languages. The vision is that elementary students will learn the rudiments of the Spanish language such as the alphabet, the pronunciation rules, the exception rules and many vocabulary words relating to everyday life. They will also learn basic conversational skills. All the material that is taught is based on grade appropriateness.

Spanish Program Volunteers Needed

We are recruiting for the Volunteer Spanish Language Program for elementary schools. All training and teaching materials are provided. You can sign up during your campus Open House. For more information, contact Michelle Michels at michelle.michels@leanderisd.org.

General Information

Leander ISD’s Spanish Volunteer Program is recruiting volunteers for all elementary campuses (Grades K–5). Volunteers are matched with a classroom in the school of their choice and will teach Spanish once a week for 30 minutes. The district provides all program materials and training for volunteers.

Positions include:

  • Volunteer Teachers: Teachers should have an elementary level of Spanish and the ability to engage children for thirty-minute durations. Volunteers must be able to commit to an entire school year.
  • School Coordinator: The school coordinator recruits volunteers and matches them with participating teachers at their school. Knowledge of the Spanish language is not necessary with this position. Coordinators may also serve as volunteer teachers.

If you would like information about the program, please contact the District Spanish Volunteer Program Specialist, Michelle Michels at michelle.michels@leanderisd.org.

Volunteer Teacher Guidelines

In order to promote volunteering in LISD schools, it is essential for all volunteers to adhere to a professional code of ethics. We ask that volunteers pay special attention to the following items:

Volunteer Code of Ethics 

  1. Attitude: Volunteers are recognized as professionals. In that role, a professional attitude is assumed one of mutual respect and confidence. Remember to be friendly and courteous at all times. Please come to school with a good attitude, one that will say to the principal, teachers and students that you are happy to be there and that you are glad to have this opportunity to work with them.
  2. Classroom Management: Although the classroom teacher is required to remain in the classroom during the Spanish lessons, the volunteer is expected to reinforce the classroom rules of conduct. Appropriate language and behavior are expected of all volunteers.
  3. Dependability: Make a professional commitment to be dependable and on time. Please notify the school as soon as possible if you are unable to come to school and fulfill your volunteer commitment. The teachers and students are counting on you. If any issues arise that will keep you from fulfilling your commitment please let the classroom teacher know right away.
  4. Communication: We want your volunteer work to be a great experience. If you have any questions concerning policy and procedures, please ask the appropriate person: the teacher, the Campus Spanish Coordinator, District Spanish Volunteer Coordinator, or the principal.
  5. Confidentiality: Like teachers, volunteers have a code of ethics to keep confidential matters within the school. Discussion of confidential matters and criticism of students or school personnel is inappropriate. As a volunteer, we do not want to be responsible for sharing any information that might be detrimental to a student or staff member.
  6. Support: As volunteers, you are in a support position. You can also expect to receive the support of the classroom teacher, the office staff, the Campus Spanish Coordinator and the District Spanish Volunteer Coordinator. If you have any questions, concerns or need guidance, please ask the appropriate person.
  7. Dress and Grooming: Volunteers are to reflect professionalism in dress and grooming. Please come dressed as you would expect a classroom teacher to dress.

Volunteer Spanish Teacher’s Guidelines

  1. All volunteer teachers must fill out an annual online volunteer application which includes a background check. They must be cleared by the district prior to volunteering at the school. The application is available at this link: Volunteer Application
  2. The district provides basic training and teaching materials. All district-provided teaching materials must remain at the school.
  3. The district provides all lesson plans necessary to teach each grade level. They are made available online for easy access from home.
  4. The Spanish Program Games and Activities Handbook is available for volunteers. The district Spanish lessons DVD and the Risas y Sonrisas instructional DVD can be checked out from the coordinator. The Spanish program music CD may not be removed from the school. The Risas y Sonrisas teacher’s manual and CD may not be duplicated in any manner due to copyright laws.
  5. The volunteer teachers will select a day of the week and a time of day that they will be available to teach the Spanish class(es) for the school year. The campus’ Spanish Coordinator will assign all volunteers to classrooms according to their time availability. If your schedule needs to be changed, please contact the Campus Spanish Coordinator and the classroom teacher as soon as possible.
  6. Contact the classroom teacher prior to the first day of Spanish class to introduce yourself and to discuss the classroom discipline procedures. Also provide the teacher with your contact information so that he or she may reach you.
  7. If you are unable to teach your class for any reason, please notify your classroom teacher as soon as possible. If you cannot reach the teacher directly, have the office notify the classroom teacher that you need to reschedule your class time for another day that week, if possible.
  8. If you know at least one week in advance that you will not be able to teach your class, try to arrange for a substitute. Check with the Campus Spanish Coordinator for a list of approved substitutes or make arrangements with someone else teaching within the program.
  9. Volunteer teachers are encouraged to work as part of a team within their specific grade level(s). This will help to cut down on class prep time. The Campus Spanish Coordinator can assist you in setting meetings or contacting the other grade level volunteers. At these meetings you can discuss what subject material you will cover next and set up your lesson plans for the coming weeks. Don’t forget to follow the school district matrix and lesson plans for your grade level. This is a great time to look over subject material together and share ideas.
  10. During the first weeks of the program set aside some time to label each of your Spanish classes with classroom labels. These will be provided by the Campus Spanish Coordinator. First, go over each word and then place them around the classroom where they belong. These labels will remain in the classroom all year long. Refer to these labels as often as possible.
  11. You can incorporate some geography, cultural information, or interesting facts regarding Spanish speaking countries that you might have. Children really enjoy this but make sure cultural information is appropriate. Always ask the classroom teacher before presenting cultural material.
  12. Remember to be flexible. Be ready to change gears if a lesson is not going well. Go prepared to class with plenty of materials.
  13. If you have any problems, contact the Campus Spanish Coordinator. 

Have Fun!

Helpful Teaching Suggestions

  1. It is normal to be nervous on the first day of class. Spend the first day of Spanish class introducing yourself and getting to know the students. This helps to put you and the students at ease.
  2. Be well prepared for the class. Classes don’t always go as planned, so be flexible and have a backup plan. Classes are often affected by different variables such as upcoming holidays, weather, etc.
  3. Familiarize yourself with established classroom rules and procedures. Let the students know that classroom rules and procedures still apply during Spanish class. If students are disruptive, remind them of the classroom rules.
  4. If you have students who have difficulty sitting still and waiting their turn, work with them in a positive manner. Have them help in the class activities (games, handouts, etc.). Encourage them to work on waiting their turn to participate and make a point of reinforcing positive behavior. (These students often do better with lessons that incorporate physical activities.)
  5. If you have shy students in your class, do not call on these students unless they raise their hands. (Make sure to allow sufficient wait time after a question.) It also helps to stand next to them when they are answering a question. If they answer incorrectly focus on the attempt and not the incorrect answer. An example would be “That’s a good try and your pronunciation was great, but I’m looking for a different answer. Would you like to try again?” If they look upset then turn the focus away and ask the other students to raise their hand if they would like to try answering the question.
  6. Students in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program usually participate in the class and enjoy learning Spanish just like all other children. Sometimes it might take them a little longer to participate and sometimes they will pick up Spanish much faster, especially if their native language is similar to Spanish. These students usually respond better with visual cues.
  7. Occasionally you may have students in your class who speak Spanish. Remind the students that they are all in class to learn. Spanish speaking students can still improve their reading, writing, and vocabulary skills in Spanish. It is not unusual that other students in the class will rely on these students to answer all the questions you may ask in class. You may occasionally ask the Spanish speaking students to assist with classroom activities. This will allow the other students to try harder and will still include the Spanish speaking students in the class activity.
  8. During the school year, new students may be enrolled in your class. This will not pose a big problem since the program is designed to review old subject material along with new subject material.
  9. The most important thing to remember is that you come to class prepared, excited, and enthusiastic. Have a good time. The students will follow your lead.

Coordinator Guidelines

  1. The Campus Spanish Coordinator will work with the District Spanish Volunteer Coordinator in setting up the program at their school and maintaining it. The District Spanish Volunteer Coordinator will provide the training sessions for the volunteer Spanish teachers.
  2. All the elementary Campus Spanish Coordinators and the District Spanish Volunteer Coordinator will meet as a group twice a year to discuss the status of each program, share various ideas and make changes as needed.
  3. The Campus Spanish Coordinator will assure that potential volunteer Spanish teachers have the necessary requirements to teach Spanish to the students. The Campus Spanish Coordinator must have the volunteers complete a district volunteer application and background check form and determine what days, times and number of classes they are available for during the year. Review the guidelines for volunteers (signing in/out, proper dress, etc.)
  4. All volunteer Spanish teachers need to attend a training session and they should be strongly encouraged to watch the Spanish teaching video provided to the school and/or online.
  5. The Campus Spanish Coordinator will provide the volunteer Spanish teachers and the office with a copy of the Spanish class schedule. They will also provide the names and contact information of all the volunteer Spanish teachers.
  6. Once you have your volunteer Spanish list and their availability, assign volunteers to classes based on classroom schedules. Don’t forget to block out the times for specials, lunch and recess for each grade level. If any of the volunteer times do not match up with the times the classroom teachers have available, go back to the volunteers and see if they can change their time choices to match the classroom teachers. Please make every effort to fill kindergarten classes first and then work your way up through the grades.
  7. Make sure the classroom teachers have the contact information for their volunteer Spanish teacher in the event they need to reschedule or cancel the Spanish class. Volunteer Spanish teachers also need to let the classroom teachers know ASAP when they need to reschedule or cancel a class due to an illness, child’s illness, work commitment, etc.
  8. Volunteer Spanish teachers will have access to a grade level matrix, Spanish program teaching materials, and an online curriculum. Make sure that the volunteer Spanish teachers understand that the teaching materials belong to the school and must remain at the school. They may not copy or duplicate any copyrighted materials.
  9. Please make sure that curriculum materials are readily available, organized, and that new materials are laminated for protection and durability.
  10. Make sure that the volunteer Spanish teachers are always informed of holidays, school wide testing, assemblies, etc. that may affect their class schedule. Post a monthly school calendar in the room where the Spanish materials are kept.
  11. Ask each volunteer Spanish teacher to contact the classroom teacher prior to the first class to introduce them self and to discuss classroom discipline.
  12. Meet with the principal at the beginning and throughout the school year to discuss the progress and make any necessary requests needed for the program. Coordinators for new campuses need to request from their principal a place to store program materials. Any ideas for school wide activities must be discussed with the principal in advance.
  13. Contact the campus PTA President to request funds for the Spanish program.
  14. Keep your campus informed about the Spanish program through the various school newsletters and volunteer website.
  15. Recruitment for volunteers to the program will be done through fliers inside the kinder/new to district registration package, the school volunteer program (volunteer orientation meetings), back to school night, community fliers in the district website and through the school volunteer website.
  16. If the volunteer Spanish teachers are having a problem with a class, please have them discuss it with you first. Determine if the volunteer Spanish teacher should discuss the problem with the classroom teacher. If you are unsure, then contact the District Spanish Volunteer Program Coordinator at teresa.orkun@leanderisd.org.
  17. A written inventory of the materials will be done at the beginning of the year and again at the end of the year.
  18. Contact the District Spanish Volunteer Coordinator to order enough sets of classroom labels to cover all the Spanish classes. These will need to be cut out and laminated.
  19. All materials purchased for the Spanish program need to be marked as the property of the school.
  20. Assistant Spanish coordinators will help with material preparation, scheduling, inventory of the materials and keeping the Spanish material area organized.

Campus Staff Guidelines

  1. The principal will work with the district coordinator to discuss the process for setting up the program and how the program works. 
  2. The principal will inform the staff (classroom teachers, librarian and office staff) about the Spanish program and what their role is in the program. They should receive a copy of the Campus Staff Guidelines.
  3. The principal will work together with the school Spanish program coordinator on requesting funds for the Spanish program from the PTA. This should be set up as soon as possible after school begins. Once it has been approved the coordinator needs to be notified as to the amount of the funds that will be available for purchasing program materials. 
  4. The principal will work with the Spanish program coordinator to set up a location to store the Spanish program materials. They should be placed where classroom lessons will not be disturbed by volunteers retrieving materials.
  5. The district coordinator will provide the principal with the name(s) and contact number(s) of the coordinators for their school. The principal will then provide this information to the office staff along with the district coordinator’s name and contact number.
  6. The office staff will direct calls concerning the program to either the school Spanish program coordinator, the principal or the district coordinator. 
  7. It may be necessary at times for the office staff and/or the principal to help the Spanish program coordinator with recruitment, fliers, the school newsletter and general information about the classes and schedules.
  8. The classroom teachers will work with the Spanish program coordinator and the volunteer Spanish teachers to set up the schedule for their Spanish classes. The Spanish classes can be taught during non-core curriculum times. Social Studies time can be used as an alternate.
  9. The classroom teachers must remain in the classroom during the Spanish lesson. This is required by the district.
  10. The classroom teachers will be provided with the contact numbers for their volunteer Spanish teacher.
  11. The classroom teachers need to notify the volunteer Spanish teachers whenever a school activity such as testing, parties, an assembly, field trips, etc. will interfere with the class schedule. The classroom teacher will work with the volunteer Spanish teachers to reschedule for a different day during the same week if possible. Any help the campus staff can provide to the school Spanish program coordinator will be greatly appreciated.

Program at a Glance

Information coming soon

News & Upcoming Events

Spanish Volunteer Training Schedule

Please continue to check back. We will be adding more training dates and sites.

  • River Ridge ES
  • Rutledge ES
  • Cox ES
  • Akin ES
  • Reagan ES
  • Winkley ES

Appreciation

Thank you for participating in the LISD Volunteer Spanish Language Program. This program exists because of your gift of time. It is greatly appreciated!

And thank you to the Spanish Volunteer Coordinators who served on the committee to make this website possible. We truly appreciate the countless hours you spent working on revising manuals and creating lesson plans.