Ten Easy Ways To Become Involved At Your Child's School Without Driving the Teacher Crazy!
Do you want to get involved with your kids' school, but you aren't sure how to pick an activity that will coordinate with your work or home schedules?
Check out Allison Klint's helpful "Top Ten" list below for flexible ideas you can work into any schedule.
#1 – Personally talk with your child's teacher about helping out in the classroom. Teachers usually have plenty of ideas for ways to help out in the classroom. If not, perhaps you can suggest your availability to:
#2 – At registration, ask if the school has a PTA, PTO or PTL. This parent-teacher organization is specifically organized to encourage involvement at the school. If your school does have such an organization, ask for the president's contact information. Once in contact with the PTO, the volunteer possibilities are endless. Ask about committees. Join a committee or become a committee chair. If you are willing and able, take the plunge and ask about being a board member of the PTO, like President, Vice-President or Treasurer.
#3 – Become a room parent for your child's classroom. If you are good at delegating, volunteer to be the classroom's liaison with the teacher. Then you can communicate the teacher's volunteer needs to parents for field trips/holiday parties/special activities and help coordinate tasks.
#4 – Volunteer to coordinate a classroom holiday party. Pick a holiday you really love and plan your party: crafts, games, snack and goody bag ideas. If you keep your list and any left-over supplies in a storage tub, you'll be good to go prep-wise for the next several years worth of parties.
#5 – Go to lunch with your child once a week or once a month, whatever fits into your schedule. Ask first to see if this is allowed. Typically, you shouldn't have any problems. Once there, you can meet the kids from the classroom, the teachers in the lunchroom and the office. From there, you will be surprised what you find yourself signing up to do because there are usually so many activities/events posted around school that are in need of volunteers.
#6 – Become a coach or an assistant coach. "Girls on the Run" and "Parent-Run Basketball" are a few activities that come to mind which always need able and willing people.
#7 – Ask if the school has any after school activities that need volunteers, such as science or math clubs.
#8 – Ask about Daisy, Brownies, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, or Boy Scouts programs offered at the school. This way you meet kids and other parents from the school in two ways, (1) the troop usually consists of kids from your school and (2) meetings are usually held at the school. Again, if you are willing, ask about becoming a troop leader or co-leader for your school.
#9 – Ask the Principal if there are any district or school-wide committees in which you would be able to participate, i.e. task forces, reading initiatives or building/facilities committees.
#10 – Start an after school program of your own. Of course, ask the Principal first. Getting physically fit and Going Green are two big topics in our society today. Ask what your school needs.
Best of luck to you. You won't be sorry. Children love any type of their parent's involvement. You might be surprised how many people you meet and become friends with along the way.
Submitted by Springfield Moms Advisory Board Member and frequent contributor Allison Klint.
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