The first day of school can be a major milestone for both you and your child. Your involvement in your child’s life doesn’t have to stop when the school bell rings.
From volunteering opportunities to P.T.A positions, there are many ways (and varying levels of commitment) for parents to play a part in their child’s school.
Volunteering at a primary school can conjure up images of being mobbed in the playground by a small herd of six year olds. More commonly however, the reality is that you will be asked to help a child or small group of children with their reading, providing a hugely valuable service to both the children and their ever stretched teacher. Helping at lunch times, on school trips and when the class is embarking on a big hands-on project are other occasions that volunteers are always welcome and you will be lucky if you are on the volunteer list as these type of activities are so much fun!
The three letters, P.T.A, may fill you with joy, anxiety or dread. The Parent Teacher Association is a vital part of any school and aims to raise money for the school through various events and also to actively communicate between teachers and parents. A committee is voted in to run the P.T.A each year and being a part of your school’s P.T.A, however big or small your role is, can be incredibly rewarding. Not only will you be able to organise and assist with the special annual events, but you will meet more staff and get to know many more parents in the process.
So, where to start? Working full time may mean you have no time to spare on a regular basis. But you may turn out to be the best cupcake provider or bouncy castle supervisor that the annual summer fete has ever known. Don’t feel that you have to help at or contribute to every event that the school has. Most families are being pulled in too many directions as it is. Pick one or two things during the school year that you know you will be able to commit too and give them your best effort.
Volunteering on a regular basis may not be an option for you, due to work or other family commitments but perhaps you have a special skill or interest e.g.: vet, local artist or tuba player that you would be happy to share with your child’s class one day. Your skills; professional, artistic or cultural, may be just what your school is looking for to make their next lesson come alive.