Participating in your child’s preschool classroom provides a number of benefits to yourself, your child, your child’s teacher, and your greater community at large.
Being a preschool classroom mom or dad keeps you closely connected to your child and his or her sphere of influence, keeps you in the know about what their daily life is like as well as what the current trends and fads are so you’ll have more connection points you can chat about with them, and your assistance can really be invaluable to the teacher and school.
Here are a few ways you can get involved:
1. Read to the class
Volunteering to be a class reader helps mix it up for the kids and gives the teacher a bit of a break. Plus you’ll get to see what the classroom favorite books are and can use their characters as fun jumping-off points for playing with your child at home.
2. Tutor or help with lab/hands on work
Preschool kids aren’t generally getting drilled on the intricacies of complex mathematics, but a teacher may still appreciate having an extra set of hands around to help explain concepts or assist with hands-on experiments and activities. If you’re around and able to help with either the slower kids or the more advanced ones, it can free up a lot of the teacher’s energy to dedicate to the larger majority.
3. Help organize class parties
All kids like to celebrate any reason for a party – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day. But organizing a party can be a lot of work for a teacher all by themselves. Let the teacher know you’re willing and available to help and maybe you can find the decorations and favors for the party while he or she draws up a lesson plan explaining to the kids what it’s all about. Being involved in celebrating everyone’s birthdays as they come around could go a long way as well!
4. Check in with the teacher regularly
Along those lines, just keeping in regular touch with the teacher throughout the busy school year and letting him or her know that you’re available and interested to help and asking what they need can be very appreciated.
5. Attend open houses, conferences, and special events at the school
Go to the back-to-school nights and open houses at the beginning of the year, attend parent-teacher conferences to talk one on one with the teacher about your child and how they’re doing in class, and go with your child to any events the school puts on like concerts, holiday shows, plays, science fairs, honors and awards assemblies, etc.
6. Offer your skills to the classroom
If you have any handy skills like carpentry, crafting, art, instrumental or voice music, acting, baking, etc., share it with your child’s classroom. Come in and speak, demonstrate, or offer your skills if the teacher needs building something or making crafts for a craft fair, or cookies for a bake sale.
These are just a few ideas to get you started – chat with your child’s teacher directly and see what other ideas he or she may have. They’ll appreciate your willingness to help out and support the kids and the classroom!