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Back to School

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I love school.

I love back to school.

Both as a child and now as a parent, school holds beautiful memories and the promise of hope and possibilities.

My mom was an elementary school teacher so I have a unique insiders perspective because I grew up inside the schools.  From mid August to early June the classrooms, the hallways, the workroom, the smells of hot laminate and fresh books, microwaved lunches and hot coffee are as much a part of my school memories as placing my precious crayons and notebooks inside my own desk.  I grew up creating bulletin boards for my mom’s classroom, writing student’s names on their desk placards and purpling my fingers with the hot copies straight out of the copy machine.

I remember the teacher’s excitement just as vividly as the students and I remember seeing the difference in the classrooms of the teachers who were lucky enough to have involved parents and those who didn’t.

A teacher’s day starts long before they walk into the classroom and lasts until long after their own students are in bed.

There are so many little tasks to be done; papers to be cut, or put together and stapled, names to be put on folders, parties to be organized, classroom party gifts to be purchased… the list goes on and on.

As a little girl I just knew that I was destined to be a teacher, or a stay at home/PTA/room mom/soccer mom.  Well, I’m one of those 😉

Last year I was the kinder room mom for my daughter’s class and I took on a lot to help out our teacher but, I saw once again that there wasn’t enough help.  So, I went to the principal and asked her if I could be trained to help in the workroom, to help out the ladies who work there and also work as reading Aides and lunchroom monitors and so many other things, I asked if I could go in and spend time in there, lightening their loads.  She agreed.

I’m blessed to have the time available to spend in my daughter’s school, as PTA Vice President, as room mom and as school volunteer.  Not everyone has that time and we all know that.

However, whether you have 1 hour a week, 1 day a week or 10 hours a week to donate your time, trust me when I tell you that every. single. moment is appreciated a thousand times over.

Here are a few ideas for helping out:

If you have the time to volunteer at the school:

In The School

  • help out a couple hours a week reading one on one with students who may be struggling
  • Volunteer to be a room parent, co-room parent, classroom helper
  • volunteer to work as a lunchroom monitor or helper (there are just never enough hands)
  • volunteer to help with drop off and pick up assistance
  • ask about helping out in the workroom area or as an aide to the librarian
  • Join the PTA/PTO

At Home

  • Your child’s teacher may be overwhelmed with Sight Words, Math Fact Cards, Science Cards etc… things that need to be cut out and organized and placed into bags for each student
  • When you order your kids books from the book orders, order a couple of extra as a gift for the class

You can always send a note in your child’s backpack letting the teacher know that while you aren’t available for help during the school hours, you’re more than willing to assist in any way after school or with things that you can do at home.

Let the teacher know that you’re there to support him/her and you’re willing to help in any way.

Do you have any other ideas?  I’d love to know how you’ve helped in your child’s classroom or school whether it’s within the school walls, or outside of them.

.Originally posted as part of VolunteerSpot’s Views on Back to School Series. VolunteerSpot’s free online sign up sheets save time, eliminate reply-all email, and make it easy for more parents to get involved at school. Register at VolunteerSpot before October 1st, 2010 using promotion code “TeachersSave” for a chance to win $100 in free classroom supplies for the teacher of your choice from ClassWish.org.

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