Parent Volunteers Build Confident Kids

Entering Kindergarten can be a vulnerable time in a child’s life. For many children, it is the first time they are expected to follow classroom rules, complete tasks regularly, and behave in a socially acceptable manner. For some, it’s their first time away from home and their mom or dad on a daily basis.

Parents are often scared for their children about to enter school. They wonder how their fragile young child will handle the pressures of schoolwork, dealing with classmates, and getting used to an entirely new routine in a strange place.

A good way to bridge the gap from home to school is to become a parent volunteer within the classroom.

There are numerous benefits for getting actively involved in your child’s classroom. As a parent volunteer, you can:

1. Increase your child’s confidence in his or herself.

2. Feel good about yourself as a parent, knowing you are a positive role model to your child, as well as to the other students. It is a great way to express direct interest in your child and let them know how important their growth and learning is to you.

3. Watch as your child grows emotionally, mentally, socially and physically. It is amazing to witness the change and growth that takes place in the classroom.

4. Understand your child’s work and being able to value the time and effort they put into every assignment. Being active in the classroom is a good way to stay on top of what your child is learning and what is expected of them. When it comes to helping them with homework, you will know exactly what needs to be done.

5. Get to know the teacher on a professional and personal basis and creating a mutual respect for one another. It is a chance to develop a relationship with the teacher that could not possibly take place in the two required parent-teacher conferences alone.

6. Connect with your child, the other children in the class, fellow parents, the teacher, the principal and other staff members. It’s also a good way to keep up with school-related events.

There are many reasons why parents enjoy being in the classroom, but the best reason is seeing your child’s face light up when you enter. They feel special because you are there to help. You will be able to witness, firsthand, how their confidence and faith in themselves will grow throughout the school year. You will be able to watch them become more independent.

In addition, you will have a whole new respect for the teacher and all of the responsibilities her job entails. It is a great feeling to be able to help the teacher manage the classroom. It also creates more opportunities for her to have one on one time with children.

Volunteering can be a rewarding experience. Your child won’t be the only one excited to see you, either. All of the children will get to know you and vice versa. The students and teacher will be happy to see you each time you visit.

There aren’t any special skills required for becoming a parent volunteer. Responsibilities may include:

âÂ?¢ Help children as they work in their “centers.”
� Complete administrative tasks.
� Supervise field trips.
� Supervise trips within the school, such as the library, gym, and music.
� Help with classroom parties.
� Read books to the class.
� Tie shoes, zip jackets and pack backpacks.
� Clean and maintain the classroom.

There are a number of things you can do at home to help ease your child’s transition to school as well. You should foster independence and help them to make good choices. Read to them daily. Don’t forget the basics either, like making sure they eat healthy meals, participate in daily exercise and get plenty of sleep.

Parent involvement in the classroom creates a positive experience for everyone involved. Of course your volunteerism shouldn’t end with Kindergarten. If you remain an important part of your child’s school experience it will be a positive experience for everyone.

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