Classroom helper. Mom volunteer.
It’s going to be your turn one day soon—there’s no IF; just a WHEN! Don’t choke . . . embrace it! Your kids’ teacher really needs your help and your kids LOVE seeing you at school.
We asked seasoned teachers and room moms from VolunteerSpot.com to share their top ten tips!
- Volunteer for something you already find fun or interesting. If you can’t stand messes, stay away from art day. Maybe you enjoy the mindless joy of organizing student cubbies or weekly folders. If you like the quiet Zen of reading, offer to be a reading buddy, not the recess helper.
- In the event of an emergency, call, text, or email! Alert the teacher right away if you can’t make it, and try to find a substitute yourself.
- Don’t be the “late mom.” Show up in the classroom when scheduled. Be sure to leave plenty of time for parking and to pick up a visitor’s pass.
- Leave Facebook in the car. Volunteer time isn’t social time. There’s nothing worse than a parent’s cell phone dinging every five seconds when they are supposed to be reading The Cat in the Hat.
- Thou shalt not go off the lesson plan. Your child’s teacher spends a lot of time organizing the day’s activities. It’s her gig, her way—ask for direction and then follow through.
- Your kid is great and all, but help ALL kids. Remember to be inclusive and support all kids in the classroom, not just your own son or daughter or the kids you know.
- BURP: Be Understanding, Responsible & Positive. Leave your inner grouch in the car with your cell phone. A bright smile and a heaping dose of praise goes a long way in a classroom full of seven-year-olds! Refer discipline issues to the teacher and reinforce classroom behavior expectations.
- Leave the gossip for girl’s night out. Respect student privacy. Special needs, grades, and performance are private and must be confidential. You wouldn’t want another mom talking about your kid, so please keep your thoughts (and judgments) to yourself.
- Follow school guidelines. Background checks are required in some districts and others have rules prohibiting younger siblings in the classroom. Take the time to ask your teacher what’s required before you volunteer.
- Keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times! Don’t forget to have fun! Enjoy this messy, exhausting, deafening, and often chaotic time with your children. Soon enough, your kids won’t want you helping in their class at all!
Now go out there and shock your teachers with your volunteer etiquette.
By: Carissa Rogers