How often do you have parent volunteers?

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by DrivingPigeon, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Nov 14, 2008

    I sent home a questionaire asking parents when they would be willing to help out in our classroom and what they would be willing to help with (computer lab time, writing time, or prepping materials). I feel like I'm doing ok without any volunteers, honestly, but I have SO many parents that really actually want to help out a lot. They keep offering and reminding me to call them. Nine parents alone signed up with the PTO to be room parents!

    Anyway, I had a great response, but I'm just wondering what would be too much. We having writing time every day except Thursday, and I have enough parents to come in every time we write. I also have enough to come in weekly for prepping materials. Is that too much? I would have a total of 5-6 parents coming in to help out each week. I feel like that is just crazy! I honestly don't like having parents around...It makes me uncomfortable, which is why I have been putting off organizing volunteers for so long. But I could really use the help during writing time (21 kids and no aid), and I could easily find enough things for them to prep each week.

    I don't know, what do you guys think? What do you do?
     
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  3. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Nov 14, 2008

    I would let some of the parents prep stuff at home so they aren't coming up to the school. We have several volunteers that come a few times a week and it works great.
     
  4. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    The thing is, I think they want to be at school. And we have an actual workroom where moms from different classrooms sit and talk and laminate and cut...
     
  5. Sheila

    Sheila Comrade

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    Nov 14, 2008

    I have one parent who comes in on Friday mornings. Sometimes she stuffs folders and preps materials. Other times she works with kids. It really depends on what I need her to do the most. If you do not feel comfortable with them in your room, do not let them come in. It is your room. Send home things for them to do.
     
  6. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    Nov 14, 2008

    I would invite them in, assign them a day to come in and read with children. They can read a book to the kids or listen to the kids read books to them. Maybe you can give them sometime to take home and cut or whatever and return the following week. Or maybe they can just stay longer and do it in the corner of your room. I would encourage it though, it helps them understand your classroom and how their child is in it. It is also helpful when their child misbehaves if they know what your room is like.
     
  7. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Nov 14, 2008

    Can you have parents help during center time? I always thought it would be nice to have an adult with projects or activities that were more involved. It might help to give the parents a calendar and fill in their name for certain days so that you could control when they are coming in...I say if they want to come in, let them! You are lucky to have such involved parents! :)
     
  8. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Nov 14, 2008

    When I am acting as a parent, not an ECE program person, I usually get to listen to the reading groups read. Not lead the group, listen to them read (and occasionally score errors). This was a lot of fun for both me and the child. We were usually in a corner so we wouldn't have been "hanging around" to make someone nervous.

    I would say to just make sure the parents are not next to each other so they aren't just chatting in your room.
     
  9. Miz Liz

    Miz Liz Rookie

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    Nov 15, 2008

    I do a volunteer calendar each month and send it home so the parents know when they can help. I have one parent a week to stuff envelopes, 2 to correct spelling packets over the weekend, 1 that comes in 2x a month to work with small groups and prep materials, 1 each week for computer lab, and a couple on call for various things like bulletin boards. Each parent who wants to help gets the opportunity to assist in a way that they're most comfortable (working with the kids vs prepping materials and not working with a group). I didn't use parents for the first month because I didn't know how to use them but now I love how easy the calendar makes my life.
     
  10. spunkyteacher

    spunkyteacher Rookie

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    Nov 16, 2008

    I have three parents come in one day a week. On Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday there is a volunteer in my room. On Tuesday and Thursday they are there mainly to give AR tests. Friday we do more arts and crafts things as a whole group and I need an extra pair of hands in my room on these days.
     
  11. cycourt

    cycourt Rookie

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    Nov 16, 2008

    thanks for starting this thread as I am about to start letting the parents come into my room too.
    i was going to do my free-chioce centres for the first 40 minutes of the day and let the parents come and help on a drop-in basis. i'll have a list of activities that they can do with the students (playing bingo, teaching how to tie, reading to the students on a one-to-one basis, and playing simple card games like Go Fish). I thought this was a great idea, but then I had a parent complain that it was not enough time. I have mixed feelings about her complaint. She wanted to help out even more. I'm still mulling over how to control the additional help. I'm thinking only one parent (in addition to me and my assistant) is the max I want. So maybe one per day if they want to stay for a full day.
     
  12. Gwen

    Gwen Companion

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    Nov 16, 2008

    I too have a lot of volunteers. What I ended up doing was making a sign up for Tuesday and Thursday for one hour. I posted the sign up outside my door with a note that said "one parent per one day". The parents then signed up for a day to come in. That way I did not have a million parents coming in all day long. Not to mention I find that after one or two visits their interest in helping goes away and they start to become no shows.
     
  13. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Nov 16, 2008

    One of the other activities we have the volunteers do is to pull a student or 2 and work on something in a small group - letters, handwriting on white boards, sight words, sounding words out, etc... Another idea is to ask your volunteers if they are willing to help out with other kindergarten things or other grade levels to spread it around. Even if they aren't, enjoy it and use them as best you can!
     
  14. Mrs.Z.

    Mrs.Z. Companion

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    Nov 21, 2008

    I love the volunteer calendar idea! Thank you! I am constantly sending home reminders that say "Reminder! You signed up for such and such on this day at this time..." Bu thalf the time I forget...Thanks!
     
  15. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Dec 7, 2008

    It depends on your needs and wants. I would like to have one parent volunteer scheduled for each day. As it is I had one parent who would come in, but they are moving. I do have one dad now who comes in a few days a week and helps me with organizing my paperwork. Maybe I will post a calendar outside the door for one parent to volunteer each day and see if that works. Notes home on the weekly newsletter aren't generating enough help!
     

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