Getting Parents To Volunteer

parent volunteers neededHave you ever felt like displaying this sign in your classroom window?  It isn't always easy getting parents to volunteer.  I remember when I first started teaching, I had parent volunteers every day sometimes even two.  Times, however have changed.  With many families  having both parents working, or only a single parent, it has become difficult for parents to find the time to come into the classroom.  

Parents want to help, but often, they don't feel confident in their ability to work with students, or perhaps they feel their English isn't adequate enough to communicate with the teacher. Over the years, I have worked hard to get my parents involved. Here are a few ways I get my parents to help.

The Parent Helper Box
parent volunteer boxI place this box outside my door in the morning.  Inside the envelopes are things I need a volunteer to do.  Usually it is cutting, collating or stapling.  I always write directions, have a sample and supply the needed items like a stapler or scissors.  This is a great way for the working parent or for the moms who still have little ones at home, to help but just can't come in.

The Centers Calendar
Each month I place a calendar on my information board asking for parents to sign up for specific time slots.  These are the times I need a parent to help at a center.  Really what I need is someone to keep the children on task and resolve problems while I work with a small group.  The parents who come, see what we are doing at school and often notice that their child needs more practice.  I have a mom who can only come in on Tuesdays,  Her English is very limited, so I always leave her prep work.  She had noticed that her child wasn't able to keep up with the class.  I have noticed that her child all of a sudden seems to know more letters and sounds.  It is a WIN-WIN situation.
parent volunteer calendarparent volunteer request

For special events or class projects where I will need more help, I will put up a special sign-up.  The parents never seem to let me down.

Donations List
Whenever we are working on a project and I need items donated, I put a list up.  This month I am asking for medium sized pumpkins.

Parents might not always be able to donate their time, but they will find ways to help, whether it be prepping items at their home or sending in items so you don't have to go to Target after school.  I'd love to hear how you get parents involved, I'm always looking for more ideas.

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