With the start of the school year come the pleas for parent volunteers. Who has time for that, right? Work, kids, the carpooling, the house. Your time is precious. And time to yourself??? That’s almost unheard of. I totally get it! But, when it comes to your kid’s school activities, you need to make time. Here are 5 good reasons why you should step-up and help out this school year:
1. You get to know the administrators and teachers. Your child is much more likely to behave appropriately when you know their teachers or principal. Let’s face it, the words “Do we need to talk with your mother?” sound much more ominous backed by the knowledge that Mom and Mr. Smith actually know each other. Studies show that students are less inclined to get into trouble in school when they have a parent who is actively involved.
2. It lets faculty know that you take your child’s education seriously. Your involvement shows teachers that they can count on you to support learning, as well as discipline, with your child. It may not sound like much, but it has a big impact on how your child performs in the classroom.
3. It takes a village. We’ve all heard the saying before, and when it comes to education it’s definitely true. As much as we’d all like to believe that our tax dollars cover all necessary expenses in our school systems, it’s just not true. By volunteering in the classroom, teachers can devote more time to working with the students instead of having to carve out time to make copies, prepare crafts, organize field trips, etc. My sister-in-law, who is a 5th grade teacher, puts in 12-14 hour days (and gets paid for only 8) in order to get everything done and be prepared for the next day. She will tell you that teachers love when parents get involved and help because it allows teachers to concentrate on teaching.
4. You get to see a whole new side to your kid. You get to see how he or she interacts with peers and teachers. You get to know who their friends are, and observe how they act around them. This could teach you a few things about your student, their friends, and their behaviors. As a long time parent volunteer, I can promise you that the sweet kid that kisses you goodbye in the morning is not the same one that walks down hall with his friends and is trying to impress that cute girl in 5th period.
5. Because someone has to do it. Do you ever go to school events and see the same 5 or 6 people doing everything, while pleading for volunteers? If you aren’t one of the 5 or 6 people, then get up and get involved. Those 5 or 6 people are putting in a great deal of time and effort to make sure all those students – including yours – are getting what they need. Someone has to make sure the PTO raises money for computers, books, field trips, etc. Someone has to make sure there are enough chaperones for those school trips in order to ensure safety for the students. Someone has to make sure those band uniforms are fitted and clean, and that money is raised for traveling and competition. Someone has to make sure the team is fed before the big game. Don’t you think that Someone should be you.
So the next time your student brings home a volunteer form, sign it and send it in. Even if you do just one thing, that helps. Don’t look at it as taking up your time. Look at it as giving time to your student. I promise you won’t regret it.