A Parent’s Guide for Volunteering at School

volunteeringIf you are active in your child’s school and are present, your children see that, they know you are interested in them and their day to day. You get the opportunity to spend a little extra time with your children, too! You have the opportunity to share with the classes, help out a teacher, and interact with other parents. My kids have always had awesome teachers and that helps when it comes to wanting to help out.

I used to volunteer and was an active member of there PTA when the older three kids were in elementary school. They have been home-schooled the past few years and I miss the interaction with the parents and the schools. My older two boys are going into fundamental schools in the fall, Glenn will be in 9th and Ben in 8th, and the schools do require parent participation.

Having more than one child in school and working, parents often struggle with staying active in schools. There is not enough of you to be in three classrooms for the same things, not enough time to get from work to school during the hours they are looking for. Some parents have younger kids at home and that makes it difficult to arrange time away. I have been all of those parents before, so I completely understand. Party planning and chaperoning can be overwhelming, but there are plenty of ways to stay active with your child’s education.

Most parents know they can go into the school and ask what volunteer opportunities are available. You can fill out the volunteer application and let the school know when you are available. You can volunteer in your child’s classroom or for any area in the school. It’s really a simple process.

classroom-658002_1280Some options for classroom volunteering:

  • Read to the classroom
  • Work with students needing extra reading or math support
  • Work with groups of students who need enrichment
  • Mentor a student
  • Participate in the Great American Teach In (usually in November) to share your talents and occupation
  • Help during art projects
  • Set up learning centers
  • Sharpen pencils
  • Help the teacher file papers
  • Cut out laminated items
  • Put together work packets
  • Make copies
  • Chaperone a field trip
  • Work with the teacher to be a point of contact to email for fundraisers, class parties, supply needs, meetings, or other events
  • End of the year is always super hectic, so you can help with kids returning books

school-supplies-488381_1280Some options for whole school volunteering:

  • Help out with a school fundraiser
  • Clean up after classes or while kids are at lunch
  • Help out in the cafeteria during lunch time
  • Plan a party
  • Check books in at the library
  • Help plan school dances or science fairs
  • Attend school meetings and join the PTA
  • Help out at an after school activity or sporting event
  • Offer to help the custodians clean up after lunch or pick up trash outside
  • If you really don’t have the time to volunteer, then ask the teacher or school if you can bring in goodies for a party or event.
  • Ask if you can donate books or school supplies to the classroom
  • Offer to take home and complete large projects (stapling packets, paper clipping pages, tearing pages out of consumable books)
  • See if the school has a Facebook or Twitter page that you can update on certain days

If you do volunteer there are also some simple guidelines to follow:
1. Remember what you sign up for. Make sure you keep track of the dates and times.
2. Communicate with the teachers or whoever is in charge of the area you are volunteering in. Be respectful of their space.
3. Make yourself aware of the teachers, staff members, and all emergency information.
4. Arrive on time.
5. Don’t favor your children and their friends, make sure you treat everyone the same.
6. Do not expect the teacher to have a parent-teacher conference while you are there volunteering.
7. Keep any personal information you observe or hear about other children confidential.
8. Ask questions if you are unsure how to complete a task.
9. Do not bring younger (non-school aged children) along when volunteering, unless you have first asked permission.

Volunteering at your children’s school can be very rewarding for you and your children. You kids will grow up with a sense of what volunteering is and hopefully keep it going when they are older.

Bernadette is a native Florida girl, originally from Palm Beach Gardens. Currently she can be found wandering around the St. Pete and Tampa Bay areas. Bernadette is a stay at home mom to 5 awesome kids. The boys are Glenn (13), Ben (12), and Garrett (5). The girls are Tierney (10) and Emmaleigh (4). Most of her days are pretty random and usually have some form of adventure, photography and craftiness to them. You can follow along on more of her day to day on Aimless Moments, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.


  1. As a former teacher who worked in elementary school, I think these are great tips!! I had a hard time having parent volunteers because working in special ed things were so confidential and often had much smaller sizes. However, when I would work in elementary education classrooms, my favorite thing was when different people would read. Students love to hear from a new adult and it makes them feel so special!

    Great post!
    Autumn @ Stay gold Autumn

  2. You have some great suggestions here. I’ve done several of them myself like working in the library and planning parties. I also used to be a lunchroom mom and I worked in the office to give the secretaries a break.

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