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Monday, May 23, 2016

Why You Should Volunteer At Your Child's School by: Gertie Guide


Being a parent is life changing and though the rewards are absolute, the challenges are forever changing. Today our family structure typically involves both parents working and with extracurricular activities, lessons and camps, time has become a commodity even our children have precious little of.

While the majority of parents are involved in their children's education, they have little time to participate in the actual day to day structure of it. They see teachers and the school system as one part of their child's day that they don't need to worry about. They can simply trust the professionals to do their job. However, it's actually because of the busyness of our lives that parents need to become more involved in their child's school by volunteering on a semi regular basis.

It needn't be every day or even every week. With email and school web pages, you can sign up and be added to volunteer lists and be available when the time works best for you. It can be as much or as little as you like. The key is being available to help when you can.

Seeing Your Child Through A Different Lens

When we take the time to visit our child's class during a regular day, we have the opportunity to see for ourselves the many challenges and issues faced by teachers and students today. It's here in the trenches where we can see just what is needed and where we can step in and help. By observing, participating and asking where we can be most useful, our children can reap the rewards of an extra pair of hands and a little bit of extra time from another caring adult.

Having the chance to see your child interact can give you a heads up to situations you were not aware of. Children often behave very differently in school than they do at home and it can be a very illuminating experience. Teachers are professionals. Spending the time observing their teaching styles and the manner in which they engage children, can give you an understanding on how to teach your own child at home in life situations.

Being in the classroom also shows your child that you value their education and are making the time to keep it a high priority in your family's life. The younger children may be excited at your interaction in their classes and although the older children may not be thrilled with your presence, chances are they will appreciate your commitment to them and their education.

Helping Our Communities

Volunteering also provides support to the community. School funding is often a struggle and administrators are constantly fighting for more value with limited resources. Volunteers can help provide the support that schools could not possibly afford.

A parent volunteer willing to spend a few hours a week helping out is a welcome support to an increasingly overwhelming school system. Most classrooms are overcrowded and a volunteer can give some individualized attention to students that may be struggling. It can be anything from help with reading and homework assignments to field trips and administration duties.

Parent volunteers have become a necessary staple in our educational systems. With a few hours a month, you can support your community and show your commitment to your children's education. You are supporting the teachers by allowing them to focus on teaching and providing the best learning experience for your children.

Most importantly though, you are leading by example and pitching in where your are needed. You are being present in their lives not only at home but away from home as well. Your time is all the investment you need to make a difference.

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