Posted by: ad65shorty | September 21, 2011

Volunteering in the Classroom, Part 1

It’s the beginning of the school year, and my husband and I are just getting started volunteering in our son’s classroom! We love it! This got me thinking about parent volunteers so I thought I’d do a post today on this.

I can’t express enough the importance of parent volunteers in the classroom!! I always loved my parent volunteers when I taught–no matter how they contributed. Some could only come in a couple of times a year, for field trips or parties or as guest speakers. Some could come more regularly, like monthly or even weekly. Some helped at home with projects because they couldn’t come into the classroom. Some helped by buying school supplies or other financial contributions. No matter how you volunteer, it will make a difference to your child!

It’s never too late to volunteer, if you haven’t already. Call your child’s teacher and ask what needs are and how you can help! Most teachers love their volunteers and will utilize you as often as they can! Last year, we got signed up to come in like 3 times the whole year. That was just not enough for us, so we asked our son’s teacher if we could come in more regularly. His teacher was estatic about it! We just needed to ask. (And if not, that’s okay, too, but I figure it never hurts to ask.)

And can I put a plug in for dads? I had a dad one year who came in regularly. Some of those children needed a positive male influence in their lives, and he played that role, just by being in the classroom regularly. The boys really thrived, seeing that education was important to a male. Some of those girls had dads who weren’t available, and he was like a big teddy bear to them, helping to fill that role. It was an amazing thing to witness!

There are many advantages to your child by being a volunteer:

*Volunteering shows your child that they are important enough for you to take time out of our schedule to come into the classroom. And they get so excited to see YOU at school! 🙂

*Children whose parents volunteer do better in school because parent volunteers show their children that the parents value education.

*You get to know the children that are influencing your child.

*You get to know the teacher and his/her teaching style and philosophy. Never make a judgement on a teacher until you’ve been in the classroom and can see firsthand what is happening.

*You help benefit all the children. Every child deserves a little extra one-on-one time.

*You relieve some of the tedious work teachers need to do so they can spend more time on educating your children rather than filing and doing paperwork.

*And here’s a professional thought: According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, “School-aged children are more likely to get mostly A’s, to enjoy school, and to participate in extracurricular activities, and are less likely to have ever repeated a grade and to have ever been suspended or expelled if their fathers or mothers have high levels of involvement in their schools. The National Education Association concludes that when parents assist teachers with their everyday duties, they allow the teacher to have more time to plan activities, try new teaching strategies, and work directly with children. ”

Any other advantages you can think of? Do you volunteer? And how do you contribute?

Stay tuned tomorrow for some do’s and dont’s when volunteering!

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