Aug 13, 2011

Back-To-School: Volunteering {Guest Post}

We are nearing the end of our Back-To-School series, but before we it's over, I wanted to have my friend, Amy, share with you about volunteering in the classroom. 

I have always wanted to volunteer, and I have been able to on occasion.  But what I really want to do is volunteer on a regular basis.  In the past, time has never allowed it because I have had a younger one at home.  But now that she is starting Kindergarten, I am hoping to volunteer regularly!

If you have a child starting back, you will soon be asked to volunteer at your child's school, and I wanted you to know why this might be an important decision.  So, I wanted Amy to share her experiences with us.  Here she is... 

When Ricki asked me to help with her Back to School posts I was super excited!  (Mainly because I know that means my kids will be back to school soon!  Just kidding, just kidding!)  I am actually excited to share with all of you why I love working in the classrooms of my kids.  

My husband and I have a conviction for sending our kids to public schools.  I know there are those that frown on this and think Christian/private school or homeschooling are best.  Which is fine, I have friends that do both.  (And this post is not about that.)  However, because our kids go to public schools it is very important to us that we know what is going on in the school and classroom and that we “be the light” in this dark place. That is where the helping in the classroom fits in.  I started working in my sons Kindergarten class and have continued to do so for him and my daughter.  I love it!  (Ya see, if I worked, I would probably be a teacher.)  Teachers love it…the kids love it!  It is truly a win/win situation!

Helping out allows you to form relationships with the teachers.  (You can read about how God worked in an AMAZING way here It is also a great way to get to know the kids.  There are some students that I still see and they will say “Hey Broderick’s mom” and give me a great big hug.  It makes my heart smile.  Your own kids will love having you show up and help out in their class.  Assisting your child’s teacher allows you to see first hand what is going on in the classrooms…what they are learning, how all the kids interact with each other, how the teacher interacts with them, and better understand how your child learns.  The benefits of developing a special relationship with the kids and students are endless!! 

When Broderick was in Kindergarten I did various things:
Helped with stations
Sorted books
Went on field trips
Played learning games with the kids

In first Grade I:
Went on nature hikes
Helped in the library
Helped in the cafeteria

At my daughters preschool
I subbed for teachers
Aided the teachers in art projects
Worked in the office

Another great way to help is classroom parties.  They are not very often and they are only for an hour or so.  This is a great option for working parents.  (Helping is not limited to Moms only.  Kids love when their Dads show up!)  As the kids get older I don’t think the teachers need as much help, but always offer it.  You never know when they will take you up on it.  If you can’t help in the classroom check into helping in the office, library, art teacher, gym class, and cafeteria and for sure get involved in the PTO.

As you can tell there are many ways to get involved.  (Even more than I mentioned.) 
So, when your child comes home that first week of school with stacks of papers for you to read, find the one about helping.  Fill it out and send it back…you won’t regret it!

Thanks Amy for sharing your heart with us on helping in the classroom!  Make sure to follow Amy's blog and read all about her daily adventures with her BEAUTIFUL kids! 

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