Ever wondered what it was like to volunteer in a Baer classroom? We received the following email from one of Southway Builders’ volunteers after their day of service at the Baer School this November.
“… what a wonderful experience I had meeting your talented group of educators and your fantastic students.
It was awe inspiring. So much so, that despite my original plan to leave at lunchtime to attend meetings for the rest of the day, I opted to cancel them and spend the rest of my day in the classroom.
I had the privilege of working in Mr. Tabay’s classroom and can’t express enough how much I enjoyed working with Justin, Tyshawn, Thomas, Zacariah, Juan, and Lawrence.
Admittedly, I was very timid with the experience for the first few hours; it was quite overwhelming, but by the end of the day, I felt like I was everyone’s best friend!
Many things became apparent to me that day, but there were a few eye-opening moments that really just “made-it” for me.
Ultimately, it became abundantly clear to me that these kids just want and need to be loved! Lawrence for example, on the outside and at first blush, one might steer clear (as I did). Then after interacting with him further, I could easily see … that, at his core, he just yearned for that attention and love; something as simple as a hug from a stranger!
Take Justin and Tyshawn, my new BFF’s…those kids were amazing! I’m not sure why I ever would have thought otherwise (I guess it’s the pre-conceived notions that you guys wrestle with on a daily basis), but I was blown away by how smart and hardworking they were. … What drove Justin and Tyshawn was really just their desire to prove to the world that they can match wits with ANYONE! The kids were just great. All of them, so sweet and energetic. They were AWESOME.
And then there’s Christian and his staff….WOW. All I can say is….WOW. … The teachers and staff demonstrated to me that their commitment to serving an otherwise underserved population is what truly drives them. I was amazed with Mr. Tabay’s patience and his overall “presence” in the classroom. It was clear that he genuinely cared for the students and for his work. I was surprised (and happy) to see how much the teachers really get the most out of their students in that they didn’t allow the students’ personal challenges to become an excuse for anything.
I look forward to the opportunity to volunteer with your group in the future; so until then (and beyond) keep up the great work….you all are AWESOME!
A volunteer spends time with Justin.