Jul 19, 2021

How Parents Can Help Their Child’s Teachers

By Joyce Venezia Suss

Parenting takes place largely in the home, but many teachers also welcome and encourage parental involvement in school. School and family partnerships typically develop well-rounded, motivated students who are exposed to more life experiences.

Every school district has different resources, and parent participation can often make a big difference, especially in districts where there are many needs but not enough funds. Getting to know your child’s teachers also reinforces your connected roles in helping children grow.

Here are some ideas to get involved in your child’s school, whether you are a stay-at-home parent or a working parent with limited time.

  • Attend back-to-school nights or orientation events, and be sure to introduce yourself to your child’s teachers, as well as other parents in your child’s class. As much as possible, attend school-wide events throughout the year, such as concerts and school plays, art exhibits, etc.
  • Join the school’s Parent Teacher Association, Home and School Association, or the like. Even if you cannot attend meetings, the minutes can provide insight into the school’s needs, and the group may welcome input from all parents.
  • Volunteer for school events when possible. Some require only one day, such as chaperoning a class trip; volunteering to help on school photo day or the book sale; or participating in Career Day. Some school activities that need volunteers may take place on weekends, such as athletic game concession stands, fundraising car washes or a science fair.
  • Offer to lead or participate in a schoolwide fundraising project. Many PTAs raise funds for school improvements by selling things like wrapping paper, candy bars or popcorn. School bake sales need parents to sell the goodies, but parents with limited time can donate baked goods.
  • If your child’s school hosts special events for children, join the committee. It not only benefits the students, but it’s a great way to socialize with other parents.
  • Work with other parents to host a thank-you breakfast for teachers, asking other parents to donate baked goods, juice, coffee, etc.
  • If your work schedule makes it difficult to participate during school hours, ask your child’s teacher or school office if there are other ways to help independently. A teacher might need help cutting shapes for a bulletin board or creating materials for special projects. The drama club may seek people who can sew or decorate costumes, or design the event program. Even stapling those program pages together can be a big help!
  • School administrators may welcome assistance from parents in the cafeteria, library or school office. 

A final note: When you volunteer in person at your child’s school, don’t pay extra attention to them or treat them differently than other students. Some children welcome having Mom or Dad help in the classroom, but if they don’t, it’s probably best to help behind-the-scenes.