This semester in ENGL 486, students will be completing their required early field experience hours as volunteers with 826CHI, a non-profit tutoring and writing center located in Wicker Park. As fieldwork is a required component of all English Education methods courses, students will complete 12 hrs (minimum) of volunteer hours with 826CHI in whatever capacity they choose: options include after-school tutoring, in-school projects, field trips, and Saturday workshops. These will be discussed at our training (see below).

  • All students must attend 826 Volunteer Training: On September 4th, our class will meet from 34-6:30pm at 826CHI for their New Volunteer Training. Before the orientation, complete the online Volunteer Application. After orientation, you must complete a background check through “Verified Volunteers”: there is a fee you will need to pay for this, and you will receive an email from them separately. We suggest bringing $22 to purchase DFW book (required for course; optional to purchase at 826CHI). If you are unable to make the 9/4 class session, you will need to make your own arrangements to attend an 826 New Volunteer Training on your own time.   
  • All hours should be logged with CTE for approval: please list “Russell Mayo – UIC Chicago” as both the “Course Instructor” and “Cooperating Teacher.”
  • After you’ve completed your 12+ hours, please create a blog post for our course website. Posts should offer an engaging narrative summary of the volunteer experience in 500-1000 words. Be sure your post has a beginning, middle, and end, and include the following four items somewhere in your post:
    1. Describe: WHAT did your volunteer experience consisted of?  Be sure to include dates, locations,  topics, etc. You may have a lot, but try to then focus in on one particular experience that stands out to you for some reason.
      • WHO did you work with in this experience?  It’s good to include some sort of “characters” in your post, either a student, a teacher, a fellow volunteer, etc. Please *DO NOT* use real names: instead, give the person(s) a pseudonym! And remember that you are a character in the post as well, so you can include your thoughts and (re)actions.
    2. Analyze: WHY was this particular experience memorable?  Often times breakthroughs and breakdowns stick with us. Good stories also involve the unexpected: “I thought ____ was going to happen, but then…” Be descriptive first, and then reflective.  “Here’s what happened… And now, looking back on it, I think…”
    3. Synthesize: HOW does this experience connect with our coursework?  Be sure to find some way to connect what you experienced with a topic, a text, a reading, and/or an experience from our class. Don’t just name drop who/what it makes you think of, but also explain how/why it connects.