Very often parents want to volunteer in their child’s classroom—and that’s a great idea! Classroom involvement is beneficial in many ways. When you volunteer, you:
- subtly reinforce the importance of school for your child.
- greatly help your child’s teacher.
- see, firsthand, how your child interacts with other children in a classroom setting.
- get an overall feel of how reading and math are taught and learned, which guides you when helping with your child’s homework.
Due to parents’ own schedules, volunteering can be difficult during the school day. But please know that most teachers would welcome any help, even a few minutes, and it does not have to be during school hours. Here are six productive ways to be a classroom volunteer, even if your schedule limits your availability:
- First, join the parent group (PTO, PTA, and the like) at your child’s school.
- Next, check with your child’s teacher to find out what kind of help she needs.
- Let the teacher know your strengths and abilities. Inform her of your availability. You may be able to help during your lunch hour, after school, or by doing simple projects at home in the evening hours. These could include collating worksheets, making math cards for group practice, or contacting other parents to coordinate a class event.
- If you do find that you can visit the class during the day for a short period of time, you could read a book to students, or have an individual, or a small group of students read to you. This fosters word and comprehension skills.
- You might scribe kids’ stories—they speak, and you write. You can then take the stories home to “publish” them on your computer and return the published books when complete.
- You could help practice math facts, identify geometric shapes, or play a math game with cards or dice.
Even a small amount of your time can make a big impact on your child’s classroom, and your child’s ultimate school success!