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!
Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.