Parent Volunteers

parentI taught kindergarten, and I always had a reasonable number of parents ask to volunteer in the classroom. Great! The help was appreciated. After some time, I realized that volunteers could be broken down into the following types:

The On-the-Ball Parent—This is the parent who not only can make copies and cut out patterns but can also read with students and take initiative to help those they see struggling.

The Extra Large Kindergartner—This parent really just wants to be part of the class. You’ll get no copies out of this volunteer.

The Coffee Breakers—These come in pairs and are really keen on chatting with each other.

The Whine Trigger—This is the parent whose child instantly regresses during the volunteering time. There is usually whining and crying involved.

Whichever category they fell into, I was certainly thankful for each and every volunteer since I needed the help! Take a look at this article about a school that has a different system for parent volunteers. Would you like to have a separate parent volunteer room like they do?


4 thoughts on “Parent Volunteers

  1. I think having a separate volunteer room would be fine especially for those parents who are not really there to help but to judge the teacher. There are many of those parents at my school, especially in the past two or three years. It is discouraging when you open your door to invite the parents in and immediately after they approach administration with some complaint.That has happened at my school to several techers including myself.

  2. Thank you so much for providing this valuable forum and all of the amazing posts/resources for teachers. I find that I learn so much more about teaching from other educators and those who are in the business of education.
    Regarding the post about parent volunteers – I love having parents volunteer and would love to incorporate them more into our daily schedule. Our school participates in the Watch DOG program and we have a very active PTA. We are very blessed to have parents who are so generous with their time and resources.

  3. I work for a coop whcih all the parents have to work in the classroom except a limited amount of opted out parents. Many of the parents work in the coat room which is set up with a table and chairs for them to be comfortable.
    I love working with parents and love it but you have hit the nail on the head with the catergories. The on the ball parents need no direction and are a huge help. The extra large kindergartener I put them with the kids building blocks or working with ramps whatever is an active play but in the classroom. The coffee breakers do come in pairs and I place them in the coat room filing work, notes or just cutting things out for me. They can chat to their heart contents and still accomplish something. The whine trigger I assign then a task working one on one with different children and too busy to be with their own child. I do lots of observing in September to figure out what the parents can do and I just keep the goal in mind. Loved the article..

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful article. I would love to have parent volunteers, but whenever a parent is in the room, the students begin acting up — especially the child of the parent who is there.
    I am going to share the article with my principal. 🙂

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