How much do parents help in the class?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by teacherR, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. teacherR

    teacherR Companion

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    Aug 4, 2010

    I run a very new, very small church preschool. As of right now I am the only person on staff and have no one to brainstorm with. My question is, how much do parents help in your program? I keep hearing parents say there needs to be more parent and community involvment. Other preschools in the area make you feel like you are a part of something. What does that mean? At your school is it mandatory for parents to participate in some way? How do i make parents feel connected? I also feel like every time I ask for a volunteer for something no one steps up but then they complain. I feel lost.
     
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  3. dogs&teaching

    dogs&teaching Comrade

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    Aug 5, 2010

    The parents in my program don't participate a whole lot, however, none seem to complain that they aren't more involved. We do have an open door policy where the parents can come whenever they would like. I constantly keep the parents informed with newletters, notes, and talking with most on a daily basis. We do a Christmas program and a preschool celebration (graduation). The Christmas program is done with the elementary students at night, and the preschool celebration is on the last day where they all come for only the program. At the end of last year, our principal had the parents fill out survey. All of our parents thought that they felt connected to the school and felt they were very involved.
     
  4. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Aug 5, 2010

    We have parents come in and talk about where they've been in terms of travel when we study different countries. We also have parents come in and stuff pockets for things to go home, and parents plan a staff appreciation luncheon. Parents also plan the events for other parents at our school, and since we're run by a "board" parents make up our board, but make no educational decisions.

    We also have parents come to lunch with their kids (they have to sign up) and we have a large picnic on the last day of school for everyone.

    If we have a large, messy, activity I might ask a certain parent to come in and help with that, and parents come with us on field trips. Mostly, though, I discourage parents in the classroom.
     
  5. shellie1619

    shellie1619 Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2010

    To the next parent that complains about something, ask them what they would do to solve the problem. Try to turn it into an improvement strategy rather than a complaint from a parent. For example; if a parent wanted to see volunteer readers in the classroom, ask them when they can come volunteer some time in their day to read to the children.
    In my opinion, if people want to complain about something but then don't want to come up with a solution to the problem, then they are just complaining to complain
     
  6. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Aug 5, 2010

    Since we get $$ from a state grant, ours are required to participate... mostly, they come in for parent-child activities (halloween party day, mother's day spa, grandparent's day, gingerbread-man party, etc) and chaperone field trips. We also offer some parent-training things, but don't necessarily get much response.

    One school I was at used parents during library time to read to the classes. Thek ids really liked it... we gave parents the option of choosing their own or us choosing one... they generally brought their child's favorite book. :)

    Other things I've seen programs do to involve parents...
    *record yourself reading a story (in whatever language!!!) so we can add to the books on tape/CD library...
    *cut or prepare folder games, patterns, or other classroom material (this is often offered as an option for parents who can't come into the classroom to help but want to be involved)
    *come in and help in a center, or read with kids
    *share about their job, culture, or hobby
    *help with bulletin boards or copying
    *some programs offer "family nights," where parents and their child can come together to do something special... reading or math or science or art or whatever experiences they can share together

    Some programs send home a sheet at the beginning of the year offering a list of opportunities that parents might choose, and ask to check off any they might be interested in... almost everyone can find SOMETHING off the list they feel they can help with!
     
  7. beckyeduk8er

    beckyeduk8er Comrade

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    Aug 5, 2010

    I also have on my info sheet that parents fill out at open house
    I would like to volunteer by:
    ______ coming to the classroom

    _______ reading to the class
    _______ sharing information about my culture, beliefs, and/or family traditions
    _______ sharing information about my job
    _______ helping with a cooking experience
    _______ being the library parent and assisting children in checking out books
    _______ assisting with check in/checkout of take home literacy backpacks
    _______ other ​
    ______ chaperoning a field trip
    ______ working at home
    ______ cutting, assembling books, coloring, etc.
    _______ organize a classroom celebration
    _______ recording myself reading a book to add the classroom listening center
    ______other ​
    _____ other

    Often parents want to help out but aren’t really sure how.

    I do a similar checklist for parents to indicate their interests in parent training and family game night activities.
     
  8. Maxadoodle

    Maxadoodle Comrade

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    Aug 6, 2010

    We end our day with a story, so it is easy for parents to come in and read to our class right before pick-up.

    But my favorite is having an older brother/sister come in to read. Many times they are alumni of our class (3-year olds) and it is wonderful to see how well they read in K or 1st grade! The parents are very proud, too.
     
  9. teacherR

    teacherR Companion

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    Aug 6, 2010

    Thanks for all the ideas and advice. I think that if they feel they need to participate more then I will give them a wide range of jobs and helper times.

    My only other question is how do you set up guidlines for how they are to conduct themselves if they do help in the classroom? Parents can sometimes want to take over and be a bit bossy.
     

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