I have so much respect for teachers. How they can handle 22 five-year-olds and keep them quiet long enough to learn anything, I’ll never know. Other than chaperoning field trips, I don’t remember parents volunteering much in school when I was a kid, but it’s pretty common now due to larger class sizes and fewer resources. Clay’s preschool was an all-day program targeted at working parents, so they didn’t ask for volunteers very often, but I’d heard from friends that once kindergarten starts, the volunteer requests flood in.
I like volunteering, but it’s difficult for me to do it during the work day. My schedule is all over the place right now, with lots of new business stuff going on. Clay’s teacher was great, asking parents to fill out a form to indicate how they can help out and giving us lots of options. For most working parents, going in to the classroom from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. just isn’t possible. Luckily, there are a lot of stay-at-home moms in Clay’s class, so they have all the classroom volunteers they need.
One of the options for volunteering was completing projects at home. I put a big check mark next to that option. I didn’t know exactly what I was getting myself into, but it couldn’t be too hard, right? I was relieved when Clay brought home my “homework” for the first time this week. I had to collate and staple little books of shapes for the kids. Phew, that was easy! I sat on the floor while Clay did his homework at the coffee table.
What’s my point, you may ask? You don’t have to spend 15 hours a week in your kid’s classroom to feel like you’ve helped out. If your teacher doesn’t offer a “work-at-home” volunteering option, maybe suggest it to her. I’m sure she’d be happy to save a few hours of cutting and stapling each night. I know I would if I had to wake up and teach kids to read the next day!