Monday, August 15, 2011

Volunteering at School

Welcome to the first week of school! As your child or children return to the classroom, I encourage you to volunteer at your school. I know that this seems hard sometimes, especially if you work outside the house. But you will reap rewards both immediate and long term.

I know this because I am a dedicated school volunteer at both my elementary school and middle school. I have volunteered as a room mom, a PTA committee chairperson, a media center helper, a front office helper, a parent reader, art room helper, field trip chaperone, copy parent, and classroom helper. I have walked kindergarten students to class the first week of school, and I have done hearing and vision tests on first and fourth grade students. Sometimes, I see my kids while I’m volunteering at school. At other times, I don’t see them at all (which is good when I’m working in the front office).

I am certain that you have heard the rhetoric about volunteering, and how good it is for your school. But what no one focuses on is how much this effects your relationship with your kids. Even when I don’t see them, my kids like that I volunteer. It makes them happy, knowing that I spend time at the school for them. I end up sitting with them at lunch more often, where we talk about the school day so far. And I feel that volunteering has strengthened our relationship, helping us stay close as they get older.

Volunteering at the school is also good for me. By being at the school, I get to know my child’s teachers better, which helps immensely if there is a problem because we already have a working relationship. I also get to meet the administrators, so I feel more comfortable if I want to ask them a question. Volunteering raises my overall comfort level at school.

So I implore you to give it a try. Even if you only show up at the holiday party or read in your child’s classroom once, it will be worth the effort.

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