Volunteer FAQs

What do I need to do? Teachers and volunteers will provide a safe and loving, Jesus-centered environment. You will arrive in your classroom before your class starts, and work with the Director of Children’s Discipleship to make sure your classroom is prepared for that day’s lesson.  You are encouraged to greet the children warmly upon arrival. They will engage with children based on a relevant bible story, including bible activities, crafts, and games (all lessons and materials are provided). Teachers and volunteers will communicate regularly with the Director of Children’s Discipleship regarding classroom expectations, scheduling, and supply needs. Teachers and volunteers are required to check children out at the end of Sunday School, using the classroom iPads and parent barcode. Teachers and volunteers will also communicate behavioral concerns to the Director of Children’s Discipleship. Teachers and volunteers are encouraged to bring any questions, concerns, or encouragements to the Director via email, phone, or during training sessions.

When do I start? You can start as soon as you’ve completed a required background check and signed a Safe Sanctuary form. You will shadow one of our “veteran” Sunday School teachers at least once to get an idea of our Sunday School routine.

How long do I need to commit? There is no long-term commitment or contract. Every volunteer is different. I have found a 3-week teaching rotation works well for volunteers and children (with a full roster. Fewer teachers mean I ask volunteers to teach more often). You can teach as often or a little as you like, however, we find the greatest success in forming relationships between teachers and children with a consistent teaching rotation.

Who do I ask for help? You can contact Dani Showalter, Director of Children’s Discipleship at (319) 202-4326, or Jen Hungate, Nursery Coordinator at (319) 361-2012 for any assistance.

Do I need training? Yes. You will complete a volunteer training session, as well as pass a background check and sign a Safe Sanctuary form. You are also encouraged to attend our volunteer training sessions when offered.

What are Safety Protocols? Complete our Safe Sanctuary form, pass our required background check, and our Safety Team is on-site for all children’s programming.

How do we contact parents when a child is sick? Each child has parent contact information listed on their name tag. You may call or text the parent or caregiver to have them pick up their sick child immediately. Any illnesses or accidents must be reported to Dani Showalter, Director of Children’s Discipleship.

How do we handle discipline? The following guidelines comprise Marion Methodist’s Discipline Policy:    1. No corporal/physical punishment will be used at any time or for any reason!  

2. Set limits or behavior expectations which are developmentally appropriate.

 3. Be consistent with discipline.  4. Act with confidence, fairness, and patience in disciplining.  

5. Praise and encourage good behavior recognizing that you serve as the role model for appropriate actions.  

6. State suggestions or directions in a positive form. Give a child a choice only when you intend to accept it.

 7. Focus on a child’s actions, not their personality.  Make the child feel worthwhile and always liked!  

8. Use a kind, firm voice when disciplining. Use words and a tone of voice, which will help the child feel confident and reassured.  

9. Consequences for misbehavior will be immediate and of short duration and be related to the misbehavior.

10. Discipline is appropriate only for repeated misbehavior.  Acceptable disciplines are removing the child from one play area to another, limiting play privileges, and using “time out.” “Time out” provides the child with an opportunity to think about the appropriate behavior.  It should last no longer than one (1) minute per year of age, be in sight of an adult, and preferably be located where the child can see the other children. Once the “time out” period is completed, the child will return to normal activities.

11. Discipline will not be associated with food, naps, or bathroom procedures.

12. Always keep acts of misbehavior in perspective!  The Director will involve a child’s parents in the disciplinary process only when uncontrollable behavior and/or behavior harmful to others persists.

13. The entire staff will be consistent regarding the supervision and training of children.  Discipline of children will be the responsibility of the Director and staff members only.

14. Remember – the goal of discipline is helping the child gain self-control through learning appropriate behavior rather than forcing the child to conform to adult standards.  

How do I sign up to be a volunteer? Contact Dani Showalter at dshowalter@marionmethodist.org