2. If you can't make it, call, text, or email. Alert the teacher right away if you can't make it, and try to find a substitute yourself.
3. Don't be late. Show up in the classroom when scheduled, your teacher is counting on you. Be sure to leave plenty of time for parking and to pick up a visitor's pass.
4. Leave your cell phone in the car. Volunteer time isn't social time. There's nothing worse than a parent's cell phone dinging every 5 seconds when they are supposed to be reading Cat in the Hat.
5. Honor the lesson plan. Your child's teacher spends a lot of time organizing the day's activities. It's her gig, her way – ask for direction and then follow through.
6. Help ALL kids. Remember to be inclusive and support all kids in the classroom, not just your own son or daughter or the kids you know.
7. BURP: Be Understanding, Responsible & Positive. A bright smile and a heaping dose of praise goes a long way in a classroom full of 7 year olds! Refer discipline issues to the teacher and reinforce classroom behavior expectations.
8. Respect student privacy. Special needs, grades and performance are private and must be confidential. You wouldn't want another parent talking about your child, so please keep your thoughts (and judgments) to yourself.
9. Follow school guidelines. Background checks are required in some districts and others have rules prohibiting younger siblings in the classroom. Take the time to ask your teacher what's required before you volunteer.
10. Have fun! Enjoy this special time with your children. Soon enough your kids won't want you helping in their class at all!
About the Author
Karen Bantuveris is the founder and CEO of VolunteerSpot -- free online signup sheets save time and make it easy to organize parents to help for just about anything: classroom helpers, snack schedules, carnivals, library volunteers, paren
teacher conferences and more.
Karen lives in Austin, TX with her husband and daughter.