How do you use parent volunteers?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by DrivingPigeon, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jun 12, 2010

    Last year, I had tons of parent volunteers...I did a schedule each month, with some parents helping in computer lab, some during journal writing time, and some helping with prepping materials. It was a nightmare, so this year I didn't really have volunteers. There were a few moms who would always mention that they were willing to help if I needed anything, so I would just email them if I had any prep work to do or needed help with something.

    I felt really disconnected from parents this year...Last year I felt like I had established some great relationships. I'm thinking this is because parents weren't in my classroom as much. The thing is, I want it to be simple. I want it to actually be helpful instead of more work. How do you use volunteers in your classroom? I'm thinking about having a computer lab volunteer once a week (to help the kids log in and trouble-shoot), and maybe someone once a month to help with any prep work I might have.
     
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  3. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    Parent vols can be wonderful, but they can also be a headache. I had one who volunteered to help at a book fair and ended up giving a 1st grader her phone #!!! Scary!!!

    It's nice to have a few very dependable, non-nosy ones to help when you need them. I've had some wonderful ones over the years. I even had one mom come to my house when I was home with my little boy who was sick to bring Sprite. He was too sick to take him out and she left an email, so I called her. Normally, I would NEVER give my oh #, but she was one of those who was wonderful and could be trusted with it.

    I would let vols. file (unless it was something confidential), hang or take down things, deco. the door, run copies, laminate, tear out wb pages, anything that did not involve grades or any confidential materials.
     
  4. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    I use them to help out with special projects and to handle all paperwork from the office that needs to go home.
     
  5. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Let's see...

    You could get them to mark all your tests, assignments, essays and such, and then provide a digest of all the problem areas...

    You could get them to take your phone calls and reply to your e-mails from other parents...

    You could get them to decorate your room...

    You could get them to come up with lesson plans...

    Oh wait... that's another thread...
     
  6. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Jun 12, 2010

    Let's see...

    You could get them to mark all your tests, assignments, essays and such, and then provide a digest of all the problem areas...

    You could get them to take your phone calls and reply to your e-mails from other parents...

    You could get them to decorate your room...

    You could get them to come up with lesson plans...

    Oh wait... that's another thread...
     
  7. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jun 12, 2010

    :rofl: :rofl: :naughty:

    good one dfleming
     
  8. teacherheath

    teacherheath Companion

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    Jun 12, 2010

    I know that several teachers in my building have a little volunteer tub set up. There are instructions, files, supplies, etc. ready to go so the parents can just come in and get started. This is what I'm going to try out next year.
    Specific ideas: making copies, listening to a child read a repeated reading, correcting basic things like spelling tests/computation, do flash cards with students.
     
  9. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 12, 2010



    :rofl: :toofunny: :spitwater:
    Your too funny!!
     
  10. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jun 12, 2010

    Other things I forgot to mention:

    -We can only make 5 copies per day (we have to send things to a print center)
    -My school has an ABUNDANCE of reliable volunteers in our "publishing center." Teachers can put anything in the publishing center for volunteers to do, and it is usually done the next day (laminating, making class books, cutting-any prep!).
    -We are discouraged from having parents who currently have students in our class work directly with students for privacy reasons.

    Thanks for the ideas so far!
     
  11. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    I try to avoid having parents work directly with children for confidentiality reasons and we have fabulous aides who do the copying, laminating, etc.

    I invite parents in as "mystery readers." We do it first thing in the morning so parents can come in and then get to work. I give the kids clues about who the reader is, but the actual identity is a surprise.

    We plan a few big events during the year: making gingerbread houses, field day, etc. and volunteers come in then.

    Field trips always require parents.

    Computer lab and science are also great opportunities for extra hands.
     
  12. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    I had one parent that came in everyday for AR time. She would help the kids read who couldn't and then she would listen to those who could. She was my only set in stone all the time volunteer. For special occassions like field trips, parties, field day I could count more than half of the parents coming. In fact at field day I had 16 out of 18 sets of family show up. Oh not to mention I had at least 3 to 4 moms come to lunch everday. No one really offered to help in class except that one that was there everyday. So I used her to the best of my ability.
     
  13. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jun 13, 2010

    Each year is different. Some years, I have so many volunteers that I can't manage them all, and then you get a year like this one, where in my PM class, I had two, and each wanted only one day a month.

    I don't let the parents stay for the whole session. I give them a time slot, generally during our center time. They run a center that kids can sign up to do, just like they can sign up for art, blocks or house. It's usually a craft that is seasonal, or is in relation to our theme. I have them come a few minutes prior to centers to read the directions, and then they man a station.

    Once I get to know them, and I have a feeling for who I can trust, I may have cerain moms work with kids in a more instructional center...something like cutting samples or a bingo game.

    Kim
     
  14. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    We use them to work with struggling students, laminate, file student writing in writing folders, help with math games, make learning activities, change hallway displays, work on fluency or sight words with students, work on math facts with students....as for confidentiality, this has never been an issue. I have one line in my "welcome to volunteering in our room" letter that assures them that I know they will not share info about a student's progress or struggles with others...
    So far, no problems! :2cents:
     

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