I was just reading the few threads about gifts and holiday parties. There was alot of mention of room parents and those parents running the parties, organizing teacher gifts, posting lists of ideas for teacher gifts, etc. I always remember having room parents (moms) when I was in elementary school but don't really know how to make it happen. My question about this is pretty vague I suppose. I have found since my first year teaching (this is my 4th) that my greatest weakness is involving parents in a way that doesn't feel awkward. I've had parents come into my room on a weekly basis to do a specific "job" (run a group, supervise a center, do fluency tests, etc) and it has worked out ok. Though I do always feel awkward when they're done with the "job" and I don't know what to do with them. I really struggle with parents who just want to come in "when they can". Like one parent who works retail and wants to come in on whatever his day off is each week. I couldn't really have a specific thing for him to do considering it would be a different time and day each week. I just know I'm going to feel awkward with him just standing around. So anyway...back to my vague question(s). Exactly how do you work having room parents? I guess I mean, do you ask for them at the beginning of the year or do they volunteer? If you ask, what does the letter look like? Or is it just a conversation with a specific parent that you'd like to have do it? And as far as the duties mentioned above (organizing/running parties, being in charge of class gifts, etc) do you give them these duties or do they just kind of do it? I just hate feeling so at a loss when it comes to room parents and any parent volunteers in general. I would love advice from those who have room parents or who have the parent volunteer thing down to a science.