I love volunteering in my kid’s classrooms. I think it is such a great way to spend some extra time with my little ones and also it really give you an opportunity to get a better glimpse into your child’s classroom’s routines, procedures and expectations. Time is tight no matter if you work or not, but thankfully there are ways to help out, even if you do work full time. Most teachers love any help they can get, and most are very accommodating into finding a time for you to help, if you really want to! You may feel like if you don’t have teaching experience than you don’t have anything to offer- but that is not true at all! All parents have talents, experiences and skills that can be very valuable to a classroom and there are lots of ways you can help. If you are unsure of how to help, here are 6 ways to volunteer in your child’s classroom that anyone can do!
1.Volunteer for parties
This is a great one for parents that work. Most teachers will plan these dates out far in advance so you can have plenty of time to request a morning or afternoon off. You will probably just be assigned to a task, so no need for any previous experiences! Field trips are another great and easy way to help!
2.Be a guest reader
This is another easy one. If you know you are having a day off, or just a block of free time, ask your child’s teacher if you can come in and be a guest reader. All kids love being read to and any teacher would love 15 or 20 minutes for a small break, so pick your favorite story and schedule a time! For younger kids, any picture book would be great- fiction or non fiction. For older kids who may like chapter books instead, perhaps choose some funny poems or super interesting nonfiction books they’d think were cool.
3.Volunteer to write with kids
Writing is one of those things that needs a lot of one-on-one support, most of which is very hard for teachers to give. You do not need to be a college english professor to help younger kids learn the fundamentals of writing. If this interests you, ask your child’s teacher if he or she would be interested in having you come in once a week, or less often if you don’t have the time, to come in and work with one or two students going over their writing with them.
4.Teach a skill
Know how to craft? Sew? Build things? Code on the computer? Cook? Come do a mini lesson! Teachers have to spend 99.99999% of their time teaching to the state standards, which leads so little time to do any real world life skills. Think about your profession or your interests or hobbies and see if your child’s teacher would be interested in you coming in and doing a little mini lesson on it. If your interests are more complicated ones, then maybe you could come in a few times!
5.Listen to a child read
Like writing, reading is a skill learned best when there is time allowed for some one-on-one moments. No matter what the grade, listening to a child read is a great way to help that reader learn valuable skills. Come and listen to them, ask them questions about their story, or talk about the story elements.
6.Volunteer in the library
Most schools, short on funds to hire librarians, rely on parent help to keep the library open for students. Offer to check out or shelve books, assist students, or donate money to buy books for the library. Any of these are great ways to help!
All of these are easy ways to help in your child’s classroom, no matter what their ages are! If you have more time, you can become involved in your school’s PTSA/PTA/PTO/HSA groups- all of which are different versions of the same thing. These groups of parents often help organize much of the school’s events, holiday parties, teacher appreciation events and much, much more! Having been apart of my children’s HSA (Home-School association) for many years, I can attest to you how MUCH these volunteers do and how important they are. Even if you only have a few free hours a month, don’t be scared to ask how you can help. Even helping out at one event is beneficial!
Do you like to help in your child’s school? What’s your favorite way to volunteer?
Photo Credit: The Quinntessential Mommy