The first time I tried to volunteer at my daughter’s school, she became ill so I had to cancel. However, recently I had another opportunity to help out in the classroom so I took it. I was really glad I did. Along with helping, I was able to spend some time with my daughter and have fun. Here are five reasons to volunteer in your child’s classroom.
# 1 Help the Teacher
Teaching is a hard job. With about 25 kindergarteners, my daughter’s teacher has her hands full. As a former teacher myself, I know that it can be hard to teach a reading group while other children need help on a writing assignment. On the particular day I helped, one of the “centers” was painting. Without proper supervision, a group of five-year-olds combined with paint and glitter could easily result in paint all over the floor or kids arguing over who gets to use the glitter first. I was happy to help keep the project flowing in a, somewhat, orderly fashion.
#2 See Your Child in Action
I have always wanted to see what my daughter was like in the classroom setting. Although I receive her report card and weekly behavior report, I wanted to see if she paid attention, was behaved and, mostly importantly, seemed to enjoy school. While I was focused on the kids at my table, I was able to work with my daughter’s group for about 20 minutes. Of course, when I was about to leave, my daughter gave me a big hug.
# 3 Understand the Curriculum
Although I am a credentialed teacher, I had never taught kindergarten (except for a short summer school assignment). In addition, I wasn’t as familiar with the curriculum as with upper grade standards. Although I volunteered on the 100th day of school, an atypical day, I was still able to see schoolwork on the wall and experience the morning routine. Helping out in the classroom allows you see what sort of classroom activities the kids complete. This may help a parent understand the homework better and how to support their child’s learning at home.
# 4 Help the Kids
Along with assisting the teacher, you can also help the students. I am a strong believer of a small teacher-to-student ratio. Volunteering in the classroom, especially if you have teaching experience, can be a big help to the kids. You can give more one-on-one time to each student. Even if you don’t have a school-aged child, there are tutoring and other volunteer opportunities that people can sign up for.
# 5 Be Involved
While some parents are very busy, it’s great to be able to be involved in your child’s school life. I know my daughter appreciated me being there. If you have a special skill such as a science or music background, you may offer to do a science experiment or music lesson for the class. If you can’t make it into the classroom, you may be able to help with a project, such as doing the prep work for a craft. Of course, the PTA is always looking for a few good men/women to help out with assemblies, fundraisers and more.
Volunteering at school is a great way to spend time with your child (or grandchild), help your student’s teacher and be involved in the community.
More from Melissa:
Tips for Being on Time to School, and the Benefits of Doing So
4 Reasons to Stop Nagging Your Kids
How to Keep Toddlers Busy: Five Simple TV-Free Options