Back to School
Volunteering to help out at your child’s school is a great idea for both you and your child if you have the time to spare. Even if it’s only an hour a week, the teachers will definitely appreciate it. Volunteering is a fantastic way to show your children that you care about their education and that school is something worthy of investing time in.
Parents can offer a huge resource for the school community and also shows the children how important it is to think about the whole community. Interacting with teachers, support staff and administrators will provide you with a much greater understanding of your child’s daily activities and how best to help them with their school work from home. It will keep you young at heart and you’ll be able to get firsthand knowledge of the trends that the kids are into which might help you to connect with your own children better.
Secondary schools in particular would welcome the help as many people only get involved when their children are little and think that the secondary schools don’t want their help. It’s also the case that by the time children have become teens, their parents have most likely gone back to work full-time so not as many parents are available to offer support.
So if you’ve decided you have something to offer, have a chat with your child’s teacher who might engage with you directly or point you to a head of department to answer your questions. Actively getting involved could also mean joining the Parent Teacher Association or a parent’s advisory council. If you really want to get involved then here are some ideas of ways you volunteer:
- Offer help with 1:1 reading time
- Act as a classroom helper getting equipment ready etc
- Act as a playground monitor
- Help children with special needs
- Assist with the running of a club or offer a new club if you have some expertise
- Offer to assist in the office with any paperwork
- Attend school board meetings
- Work as a library assistant or help the children change their books
- Help out with art or design projects
- Volunteer to speak at a career day
Above all remember that you don’t need to have any specialist skills, as long as your keen, willing to help the teachers and have time to spare, they will be glad of your company. You’ll also need the school to do a DBS Check. For more information, visit http://carecheck.co.uk/.
A good thing to find out is how much of a time commitment is expected and if it will be ongoing. It pays to make it clear right from the start how much time you’re willing and able to give. Start small with what you offer as it’s easy to get over enthusiastic and before you know it, you’ve committed to co-ordinate a bake sale! Get feedback from the teachers and students to find out what they find most helpful and try not to give your child extra special attention during class!