We love the enthusiasm that our volunteers bring into the classroom, and we’re especially excited when we get to support volunteers through their own professional growth. Thank you Chef Jason for all you have given us. Your future students are lucky to have you!
Jason, how did you first hear about us?
I heard about Growing Chefs! on Twitter in 2014. I was just flipping through and a chef I follow had tweeted about it so I clicked on the tweet and link, and read up about it. After reading about it I thought it was something I’d like to help out with.
When you’re not in the classroom role of “Chef Jason”, what are you up to?
Currently I’m in school to become a secondary school teacher, specifically a teaching chef in the cafeteria. As part of the Bachelor of Education program, we are to do a 3 week Community Field Experience where we can choose from quite an extensive list of places to volunteer at, with a focus on school-aged children. When I saw Growing Chefs! was on the list I jumped at the opportunity to be able to work with them again as my previous experiences were awesome!
What about Growing Chefs! makes you return as a volunteer?
The curriculum is so well thought out and easy to present and engaging, not just for the students but for volunteers also. The excitement of the students as you are walking towards the classroom and entering it is great. Teachers are always asking how to get it into their own classrooms and I think that’s a testament to their thoughts and feelings about the program and how it enriches the students' experience.
And the students are great. They have tons of questions and are truly interested in what we are looking to teach them. Seeing them excited about vegetables and trying vegetables that they normally wouldn’t experience is also a neat experience.
If someone is on the fence about volunteering, what would you say to them?
The program is extremely well set up. The Growing Chefs! team puts all volunteers through a training session where they give you the binder with the curriculum in it. It is all the lesson plans, materials, and tips and hints on working with school-aged children. It’s so well laid out and definitely, after going through the training session, I was set at ease.