November 29, 2018

Why I love being a classroom volunteer!

I really enjoy being able to help out in my kids’ classroom and I think there are plenty of perks to lending out my time in this way.

I appreciate that parents might not always have the ability to help out, however, if you have been considering it (and you can swing it) I would encourage you to consider this short list of reasons why I offer my time whenever I can!

I get to see what a day is like for my child at school.

Getting to see what their day is like is fun and interesting!  Also, it gives me a good idea about why they usually need to decompress at the end of the day. The classroom is always a busy place with lots on the go…it is a real eye-opener to experience the hectic schedule teachers have to work out.

On top of this, seeing how busy classroom teachers are these days (because things have REALLY changed since I was in school) really helped me form a true appreciation for teachers, in general.

I recently was able to help Avery’s class during their in-school field trip done by Scientists in School.

I get to put names to faces.

One of the first things I realized, when I first started volunteering in the classroom, was that I finally was able to put the names to the faces of my kids’ friends.  I also enjoy getting to meet the kids’ teachers, the admin team, and even some of the non-classroom teachers (specialists, librarians, etc.).

I have an opportunity to build a relationship with my child’s teacher.

I personally believe that having a relationship with my kids’ teachers is really important.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m certainly not suggesting you try to establish a friendship here (because, well, boundaries right?).

Having said that, teachers are people and people have needs, wants, and feelings.  Knowing things, such as, ‘Mrs. Smith has four kids at home’ might help you empathize when she seems especially tired one day.  Or, knowing that ‘Mr. Johnson is an avid cyclist’ might help you when you’re searching for the perfect teacher gift.

I also believe this helps the lines of communication, between parents and teacher, to open up – and there is something to be said about that.  I want my kids’ teachers to feel like they can (and feel compelled to) communicate with me.

Oh, and when you need your child to bring home their runners once week, for a six-week extra-curricular program, it’s really helpful if you have made an ally who might help junior remember to pack them home on those days. (Yes, that happened…and, yes, I’m MOST grateful to that teacher for helping my child remember).

I get to give back to the adult who is responsible for my child for almost as many waking hours in a week as I am.

I appreciate how hard teachers work and I understand how important their work is.  And you know what?  I really want to support them.  On top of this, anything I can do to relieve some stress/workload from my kids’ teachers, in theory, should have a trickle down affect to my child somewhere/somehow.

A really thoughtful, and totally unexpected gift, I received from the twins kindergarten teacher last year!

Field trips can be fun for parents, too!

Sometimes classroom volunteers are called on to help with field trips.  I have discovered that field trips can be a great way for parents to discover museums and attractions themselves.

Last year, for example, I had a chance to accompany my twins on a field trip to Granary Road – at that time, it was newer to our city and our family hadn’t gotten to see it yet.  I appreciated having a chance to get a hosted-tour of the place…and now I know it’s a place I would like to get to see again!

My kids get so excited about having me help out.

Both of my kids LOVE having me in their classroom, at the school, and on field trips…and that adds to the excitement for me also.  It won’t always be this way and I definitely want to embrace it all while I can.

Since the twins were in Preschool, Darren and I have made an effort to volunteer in the classroom on their birthday.

So, now that you know the ‘why’ you might be curious to know, ‘What makes a good classroom volunteer’?  Being the perfectionist-type personality that I am (I know…I’m working on it!), I was wondering just that myself.  Be sure to check back soon for my next post with tips and tricks you can do to be the best classroom volunteer you can be.

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