Teacher Tips > Volunteering to Help Your Child's Teacher

Volunteering to Help Your Child's Teacher

Teacher Tips

Your child's teacher does a great deal to help your child and other children, so what is the best way to return the favour and help out? Volunteering to help the teacher will not only help classes run more smoothly, something that the teacher will be very grateful for, it also allows you to spend some quality time with your child and feel connected to the school.

Start off by letting the teacher know that you are available for volunteering right from the very beginning of the school year as they will appreciate any help they can get with all the lesson plans they have to construct and keep to. However, remember that teachers have their own tight schedules so showing up unannounced may not be the best option. Call ahead or send an email to schedule a conference to ask about volunteering.

Offer to be a class chaperone on field trips. Teachers are always on the lookout for extra help as a class full of children is much harder to keep an eye on in public. Ask for a schedule of field trips and compare this with you own availability. Not only will this be a big help to the school it will also be a fun experience and will give you a chance to see your child interacting with his peers. Offer to organize, help or tidy-up school events such as dances or Halloween parties.

Teachers sometimes also have trouble finding time to work in small groups so talk to them about working with individual groups to work on reading tasks, math sheets or word searches. This will immensely help the children as well as giving you an idea of what goes on in class every day.

Volunteering may also provide you with the opportunity to work one-on-one with children who aren't fortunate enough to have parents to help them. These children will need a positive adult role model in their life and you can take up this valuable service by simply making yourself available to teachers.

There may be other smaller but just as important jobs you can do in class to help out the teachers. Check in with the teacher after the first few days of school and offer to bring in any necessary items that they may need. If the school has a big play of musical recital coming up then offer to sew costumes if you are handy with a needle and thread or painting sets or backdrops. Work as a library assistant or offer to help with story time reading sessions. Organize or help out in a club or interest group. If you have a particular interest of your own that you think will be popular amongst the children, then speak to the teacher about starting up a club of your own.

Be realistic with your commitments, don't offer to volunteer one day a week if you can't keep to it as the teacher will be counting on you. If you would like to volunteer on a regular basis, discuss this with your child's teacher as soon as term starts as they will be very grateful to know that you know that you are available and willing to help.

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