Early childhood centers rely heavily on volunteers. Let’s suppose you are a parent interested in becoming more involved in your child’s school. What can you as a parent expect as a volunteer?
It is important to understand just how strenuous, involved and complicated a preschool class setting can be. Whether you are looking to volunteer within the classroom or behind the scenes with your school’s Board of Directors, there are many learning opportunities and expectations awaiting you:
1. Honour the Classroom
One of the biggest hurdles for a parent volunteer can be understanding one thing: this is not your home! Classrooms are full of unique children with unique needs, and with those come unique rules. Teachers have set guidelines and philosophies regarding organization, execution, and even discipline. Be ready to have your own parenting style challenged!
2. Understand the Rules
Schools are professionally structured and governed, and with that comes policy. Contact your school for information on their specific rules, guidelines and expectations for teachers, students and volunteers – that means you!
3. Expect to Work a Busy Day
As a parent you know how tasking it can be to manage a child. How about a whole room full of them? A busy classroom requires a lot of attention for its tasks, projects and chores. With dozens of children on-hand there are dozens of things for volunteers to help with, both in and out of the classroom. Be prepared!
4. Volunteer School Boards Are Challenging Too
Let’s say you want to volunteer on an administrative level with your local school board. This is a full-time commitment as well! Expect to help with fundraising, event planning, marketing, legal matters, all within a professional hierarchy of delegation. Consistency is a must, so be ready to dedicate your time!
Remember, You Are There To Help!
As a parent volunteer, your heart is in the right place. You want to help, not just for the sake of your own child, but also for the many others in the classroom. This is key: there are several children, all with diverse needs within one space.
A preschool classroom is essentially organized chaos. Be prepared to understand and honor your teacher’s systems, styles and routines. Whether it’s the classroom or the school board, remember that each requires a lot of time, energy and commitment. But really, is parenting no different?
Child-guided play is a good technique for you to let your child play and learn at the same time. Aside from encouraging them to think, it also allows them to discover things around them. is another excellent strategy for combining joyful activities and learning at home. Leave us a comment below with the other ways you have explored child-guided play, we’d love to hear new ideas.
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