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Volunteering can also give you the motivation you need to finish your education. Many times we are all bogged down with life, work, school, and family obligations, but volunteering can be the smile in your day that keeps you going. In a study released by Johns Hopkins, it was stated that volunteering was a "win-win" situation for the volunteer and the people for whom they were helping.
Teaching early childhood education can be intimidating so how do you know if you are cut out to teach a classroom of active and excited 8 year olds? Volunteer. By volunteering, you are able to spend time with kids in a lesser-stressed environment than a classroom. It can give you a much better perspective of the students as well as the curriculum.
Teachers Count (teacherscount.org) has several links to websites that help potential educators find hands-on experiences with teaching. If your kids are in school, ask the teachers about volunteer opportunities. This could prove to work very well with family commitments and you may have more interaction time with your children. Local churches could have volunteer programs and welcome those who wish to help out.
Being a volunteer can also give you multiple perspectives of teaching without the constraints of a classroom setting. Many employers look favorably on those who volunteered during their college/university experience and it could play to you advantage when it's seen on your resume. It's a great way to network and possibly find employment once you have earned your degree. Finally, if you're working and going to school, it can also be a great way to get your employer involved through fund raising or just recruiting others to volunteer as well.