After working in a school over the past four years, I have seen firsthand the value of parents volunteering. Getting involved at your child’s school matters. I did volunteer when my children were in school–room mom, field trip chaperone, and book fairs. Honestly, that was in my best interest. I wanted a front-row seat to my children’s educational journey. Volunteering can start out as a personal choice and can then affect an entire community. Some parents enjoy the volunteering role, while others just can’t afford the time away from their careers. Partnering with our child’s school goes a long way, whether we help for 1 hour or sign up to help at 1 event a year.
Join the PTA/PTSA
Many schools have parent-teacher organizations and send home letters asking parents to join. We may think that means we need to be at lots of meetings and events. But we don’t. My school’s yearly membership fee is only $7. For some of us, this is an easy way to get involved with little time commitment.
There are many ways to volunteer at your child’s school–field trips, school events, parent advisory council teams, room mom, fundraisers, etc. Most schools will have you sign up to be cleared to volunteer in person with students. Check with your school to see if they have a School Volunteer Liaison who coordinates volunteer training and opportunities. Also, if you can’t make it into the school due to your work schedule, there are other ways to help from home: making phone calls, organizing paperwork, or even helping to edit a school newsletter.
Get to know your child’s teacher
Communication between parent and teacher is very important. Schools tend to have online portals to communicate with teachers and where teachers post grades and the student’s progress. A good way to meet the teacher is to attend an open house. Teachers will share their best way to communicate. Some prefer a phone call and some do better with email. This relationship is beneficial to all involved–parent, student, and teacher.
Teachers can have limited budgets so a great way to contribute is to donate school supplies. Teachers will accept donations all year. For example, supplies tend to come in at the beginning of the year and run out mid-year. Anytime is a good time to donate. This also teaches our children how to give back and help meet the needs of others.
Scheduling a parent-teacher conference at least one time a year can help build the relationship with the teacher. You know your one child, yet the teacher could have a class of 20 to get to know. Meeting with the teacher can help each party give insight regarding the student. Working together, both teacher and parent can help the student reach their potential and their highest level of ability.
Involvement means we all win!!
Research shows that a predictor of academic achievement has so much to do with a parent’s involvement. Getting involved at your child’s school matters. Whether we help from home or choose to step onto a school campus, our children benefit from our engagement. Above all, your child does want you to be a part of their everyday educational experiences!!!
What is one way that you will get involved during this new school year? Share with us other ways you have been involved with your child’s school!