This is a guest post submitted by freelance writer Michelle Fabio, who shares online education tips at OnlineEducation.net.
Parent volunteers in the classroom can be great resources for both students and teachers, but it’s important to make sure your volunteers have plenty of do so they feel like they’re helping and want to come back.
If you’ll be accepting parents as classroom volunteers, be sure to ask them what they’d like to do and what they’d rather not do — not every parent is crafty or feels comfortable reading with children. Also be sure to ask what times are convenient for them, making it more likely they’ll become regular helpers in your classroom.
And don’t forget to show your appreciation at the end of the year! Many teachers hold volunteer teas or breakfasts or give small gifts like gift cards or framed class photos.
Now, without further ado, here are:
45 Tasks for Parent Volunteers in the Classroom
Less interactive activities:
- Make photocopies of assignments, handouts, worksheets, etc.
- Sort and file workbook and other pages.
- Set up art, science, and other projects.
- Make booklets or journals on binding machine.
- Fold and staple booklets.
- Cover books.
- Make playdough (can also be done at home).
- Design or simply put up/take down bulletin boards.
- Hang artwork in the hallway.
- Cut out laminations.
- Sort and stock construction paper.
- Sort and stock writing paper.
- Stock paper at easel.
- Sharpen pencils.
- Cap markers and make sure none are dry.
- Throw out old crayons and replace.
- Clean tables, desks, and work surfaces.
- Clean and fill glue bottles.
- Clean paintbrushes and make sure paint is stocked.
- Organize stamps and throw away any dry stamp pads.
- Return books to school library.
- Conduct research for upcoming lessons.
- Clean up after class pets.
- Water plants.
- Stuff and address envelopes for class mailings.
- Make sure students’ folders/school backpacks have everything necessary.
More interactive activities:
- Read to children.
- Listen to children read.
- Go over word lists with children.
- Practice skills with flashcards.
- Walk around classroom as children work quietly.
- Work on particular skills (e.g., counting money, math) with student or small group of students.
- Tell or read stories related to lessons.
- Help students who need remedial work.
- Help students catch up on missed work.
- Provide editing help with writing assignments.
- Play board games with small groups of children.
- Chaperone field trips.
- Give presentations to class (e.g., safety lessons from police officer, dental care lessons from dentist).
- Help fill out book orders (can also be less interactive depending on system).
- Assist in planning parties or other special classroom days.
For the technologically gifted:
- Scan and/or save student work on the computer.
- Take and/or organize class photographs.
- Maintain a classroom website.
- Help write and/or edit class newsletter.
Please share your experiences with parent volunteers in the comments!