As the school year is upon us it’s time for the teachers to ask for parent volunteers. When my kids were little, 15 years ago, there were more volunteers than positions, and many times my name wasn’t chosen out of the hat. Today, I find it more difficult to find parents who are able to help out in the classroom.
I understand that there are many reasons for this. Working parents can’t always take time off to come into the classroom. Non-working parents often need the time their children are in school to get things done during the brief time they are unencumbered. Yet, I urge family members to try to find some way to come into their child’s classroom, for many reasons.
First, your child will be so proud to have you there. He can show off his friends, teachers, and favorite toys to you, and you to them. Naturally, you’ll be equally proud of him as you watch him learning to become more independent.
Secondly, you will get to see his classroom in action. You’ll hear how his teachers interact with the children and get a feel for the atmosphere in the room. It’s entirely possible that your own child will act differently with you there, but that’s very normal. Sometimes it’s confusing for a child to know how to act with you at school.
You will also get to watch the other kids in action. That girl your son has a crush on, the boy who picks his nose – you’ll see it all! You may even discover that there are children you would like to invite over for play dates, and that’s always great to help develop your child’s socialization and communication skills.
There are many ways to volunteer, even if you can’t physically come into school. Bring in a healthy snack, send in your child’s favorite book, or ask the teacher if there is some other way you can get involved. If possible, plan ahead. Can you take an hour out of your schedule on your child’s birthday to bring in a treat? Can you go into work a little late one day so you can tell the children in school about your job? Be creative. The teachers will be very happy to have you, and so will your child.