Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Volunteering in the classroom

My seven year old son is in the first grade, and at back to school night at the beginning of the year, the teacher set out a schedule of days and times that she needed classroom volunteers. The slots quickly filled by enthusiastic mothers. I was glad that I had signed up early, so that I could get the day and time that worked best for my schedule at home. Compare that with my oldest, who is nine and in the third grade. I am the only parent who consistently comes in every week to help in the classroom. There are a couple of parents who help with class parties for the holidays, but that is the extent of the volunteering from a class of 30 students.

This tends to be the usual pattern. In kindergarten and first grade the parents are enthusiastic and everything is new but the novelty wears off and volunteering is forgotten. I do understand. Life gets busy and we as mothers have more and more things on our plates these days. Volunteering in the classroom is just one of those things that is dropped when our schedules begin to fill. This is a shame. The benefits of classroom volunteer time far exceed the assistance you may be giving the teacher.

Here are some of the benefits that I have noticed from my time spent in the classroom:

The students are able to benefit from one on one time - Here in Utah the average class size is about 22-25 children per class. With that many students, teachers are rarely able to spend time with individuals, one on one. When parent volunteers are in the classroom, students are able to either break into smaller groups or have one on one time with the volunteer.

Your child learns that you care about their education - When you volunteer in the classroom, you show your child that you think school is important.

Your kids like it! - My children are always excited to see me when I arrive at their classrooms. I always receive a big hug from each of them when it is their turn to read with me.

You can keep closer tabs on your children's progress - By helping in the class you are able to observe where your child fits in academically with his peers. I don't use this as a time to compare my child to the others; but as a way to gauge how they are progressing. Are the other children improving faster, etc.
I hope that you will be able to experience the fun and satisfaction that comes with volunteering in your child's classroom! I find that my volunteer time is one of my favorite times of the week!

- Christine

Posted by Christine of Random Thoughts With Chris

1 comment:

Cindy said...

I love this article and couldn't agree more. My sentiments exactly. We at Jooners created a sign up sheet which enables teachers to fill the classroom stations quicly.". I highly recommend that parents of older children get involved in the classroom. It's where the rubber hits the road. The older children need your classroom involvement even more than the kinders. I will be participating in a cow eye dissection next week. In a way I can't believe I'm doing it. On the other hand, I wouldn't give it up for the world.