Zoodles Blog Learn and Play Every Day

August 9, 2010

7 Ways to Help Your Child’s Teacher

Guest Blog by Sarah Combs

back to school

Back to School Image Courtesy Pane, amore e creativita

Back-to-school is in full swing! School supply lists and school uniforms are everywhere you turn; it’s time for the lazy days of summer to come to an end and the routine of school days to begin.  Whether you’re a parent of a preschooler or a third grader, this means turning over your little ones to the capable hands of a teacher. But this doesn’t mean that you should sit back and relax! Teachers are always in need of help, and now more than ever. In almost all districts, our teachers are being asked to do more and more with less and less – budgets are tight, class size is swelling and assistants have been cut from many programs. Parents can participate in the classroom by helping with parties, recess, fundraisers, or even just everyday activities; the options are endless. Being a part of your child’s education lets them know that you’re truly interested in their success at school, and provides you with a priceless experience. Help your child’s teacher help your child! Here are seven ways that parents can actively participate at school:

  1. Basket of classroom supplies. Find out what supplies might be missing in the classroom. Ask each family to donate one or two small items: pencils, markers, glue, stickers, tissue, hand sanitizer, table wipes, etc. Ask for gift card donations from office supply and craft stores to help with classroom supplies. Parents who can’t afford to donate can participate by cutting coupons for frequented retailers.
  2. Organize a reading circle and classroom helpers. Use VolunteerSpot to coordinate volunteers -‐ each parent signs up to help once a month in the classroom — reading, helping with science experiments, and tutoring kids needing extra help.
  3. Share your special skills and traditions. Compile a list of special skills, hobbies, or family traditions that parents can share with the class throughout the year. Help organize and execute parties and class projects that highlight different aspects of each child’s culture, and introduce them to new traditions.
  4. Wish Notebook. Put together a wish notebook with teacher surveys and share it with parents. The surveys should ask teachers to list ways in which parents can help them either inside or outside of the classroom. Parents can help in the areas they feel most comfortable.
  5. Paperwork Parents. Take turns making copies, grading papers, or preparing classroom supplies after hours. Use VolunteerSpot’s online scheduling tool to coordinate the effort. If parents can help once or twice a week, that’s a tremendous time savings and welcome break for your teacher.
  6. A personal note from students. Ask each child to write a letter or note  expressing what they are looking forward to this year and why they like their teacher. Then, throughout the first semester, present the notes, one at a time.
  7. Before and After. Take a photo of 4-5 children at a time at the start of the school year. Hold on to these and take pictures of the same groupings towards the end of the year. Prepare a before-and-after flip book to share with the teacher, along with notes and remembrances from the class.

Parent participation is crucial throughout the year, make sure that classroom volunteering isn’t only a back-to-school activity, get involved and stay involved in your child’s education. For more about Room Moms and Room Dads, check out VolunteerSpot’s free eBook, Room Mom’s Survival Guide. It gives tips for class parents, and provides fun class party ideas for the school year.

Author Byline

Room Mom


Guest post by Sarah Combs of VolunteerSpot, DOING GOOD just got easier! VolunteerSpot makes back-to-school planning a snap for parents and teachers with simple online sign up sheets – quickly organize classroom volunteers, school fundraisers, tournaments, carnivals, parent-teacher conferences, soccer snacks, Scout campouts and more!  Register on VolunteerSpot before October 1,2010 with promo code ‘TeachersSave’ for a chance to win $100 in classroom supplies for your favorite teacher from ClassWish.

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  1. Another way to help your child’s teacher: share word of http://ClassWish.org, a nonprofit that helps teachers get the supplies they need. And they have a chance to win free supplies a http://win.ClassWish.org

    Comment by Robert Tolmach — August 10, 2010 @ 4:54 pm

  2. Having kids write a personal note to the teacher is a great idea. Giving teaching supplies is one thing, but adding a personal touch is extra special.

    Comment by cara — November 1, 2010 @ 2:47 pm

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