This week I had the opportunity to visit one of my volunteers and his sweet wife at his home. It was great to talk outside the classroom and actually FINISH our conversations. No interruptions, no time constraints. Just enjoying one another’s company and reflecting on the year. I love summer time!
Over the last two years, this grandfather has been consistently volunteering in the classroom and around the school. Other parents and grandparents also volunteer as they have time, but I was lucky enough to his help three days a week throughout the year! What a commitment!
Next year he’ll follow his grandchildren to a different classroom and I’ll miss his company and help. He and the other volunteers have become cherished members of our classroom community.
If you’ve read about me you know that I was a busy mom of six children before I returned to school to become a teacher. I wanted to volunteer, but time was limited.
I always enjoyed being involved in my children’s school, but I didn’t always know how to fit into it. I didn’t want the teachers to feel like I was taking over so I had a tendency to wait for their direction. Sometimes I felt like I was in their way or that I wasn’t helping enough. Not knowing what was expected of me left me feeling awkward and ineffective.
Experiencing the parents’ side of the equation has helped me to be a better host to community and parent volunteers. I have the advantage of having walked a mile or two in their shoes. I know what it feels like to be the parent who is willing to help, but doesn’t know how or when.
Over the next few days I’ll be sharing a series of posts on how to recruit volunteers for the classroom and keep them.
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