Helping Out at School

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There's no question that school teachers have their hands full these days. Most classrooms have 30+ children, all demanding the attention of one teacher, and possibly one assistant. How does a teacher effectively educate children when there is teaching to be done, lesson plans to prepare, papers to grade, and repeating it all over again the next day? Schools have cut budgets time and time again, eliminating extra assistants, so how does a teacher do it? The answer is with parent volunteers.

Parents who wish to volunteer have been the saving grace for teachers, and make a big difference in the efficiency of the classroom. Assistance that is given to teachers - even simple things - is greatly appreciated. Even with a busy schedule, here are some ways parents can help make a positive impact in the school:

Class moms organize holiday parties, birthday celebrations, assist with arts, crafts and projects, organize fundraisers, accompany classes on field trips, deal with behavior issues and substitute in the classroom for short teacher breaks.

Children love to hear stories. Reading books, poems, or even showing a video can get the class ready for afternoon studies. Some moms have recorded themselves reading books at home. Read-aloud programs offer opportunities to increase fluency. Volunteer in the library, by helping children find books, check-out and return books and shelving.

Children learn best through hands-on experience. Parents who have experience in art, computers or science are perfect for center volunteers.

With the ride range of fluency levels in the classroom, individual attention to students who need aid in reading, math, or language can increase the academic performance of those on the lower end of the learning scale. After-school homework clubs have also been successful.

Teacher assistants, even if volunteering for an hour per month, can grade student papers, take students to the restroom, supervise on the playground, distribute snacks or take in lunch money.

Parents with a special area of expertise can speak to the class and share fun stories, experiences and occupational information.

Extra-curricular activities enhance learning experiences and fellowship outside of the classroom. Volunteers are needed in clubs, sports activities and booster clubs.

When parents are involved in the child's education, students receive higher test grades, may take more advanced courses, and are more likely to continue on to colleges or universities.


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