No matter the grade your child is entering being a room parent is a huge help. I have personally had the honor of having this position for the past 3 years and let me tell you it’s tougher than it sounds.
There are many aspects to being a good room parent: communication, creativity, availability and a good pair of scissors just to name a few. Hopefully, my experience can help provide some good tips for being the best room parent you can be. I have used most of these while other tips were graciously given to me by a friend and fellow room mom.
The most important tip is to communicate, communicate, communicate! I cannot stress that enough. It is crucial to not only communicate with the teacher but also with your fellow parents as well. For me, I always made sure to let the other parents know that they could email, call or text me anytime they had a question or an idea on food or crafts. It’s a great way to help make the working parents feel like they are being helpful when they can’t be there as much. And, when you need to organize an event/party/etc, SignUp Genius is a great tool to keep all the parents informed.
A Favorites List
This idea came to me from a fellow room mom. During the first week of school have the teacher fill out a form of there favorite things. Pinterest is a great place to find tons of different options. These come in handy for so many things; from Christmas gifts to Teacher Appreciation week/day, birthdays and end of the year gifts. After they fill out the form send copies to the other parents. You won’t believe how helpful it can be especially if you want to coordinate with them. Here’s an example of what you can send to the teachers!
Keep a Calendar
Keeping a calendar, even if it is a pocket one, specifically for class events will help to make things easier. Whether it’s for special days such as Johnny Appleseed Day or 100th day of school it makes organizing a breeze. Using different colored pens or highlighters help to identify the different events too.
This one is a little trickier. Although it is not an absolute must it does come in handy for themed parties or events. Especially when planning things like Dr. Seuss week or school spirit week. Creativity also helps when coming up with homemade gifts to try to save some dough. For example, when my son was in VPK his classroom theme was the jungle. So for his teacher’s end of the year gift, I made a card featuring a tree with the students’ fingerprints as the birds.
You don’t have to be Martha Stewart by any means but having an account on Pinterest goes a long way.
I know this sounds daunting but it’s actually very important and it’s different for every teacher. For me, it was easier to take things home. Whether it’s letters of the alphabet, pictures of the kids, or shapes to make fun projects to cut out. This is where a good pair of scissors will come in handy.
Once you find out who the lucky teacher is sit down and have an “expectations talk” with them. This will help to figure out what is in store for the coming year and make organizing crafts so much simpler. It also helps to know if you will need extra parents hands on deck for specific activities and events.
Extra Parent Helper
My final tip is one that has been an absolute lifesaver for me. When planning parties, try to have one or two parents that you can depend consistently in your corner. I can’t tell you the number of times when a last minute detail came up that had I not had that extra help it would have ended up disastrous. They helped by making slime, bringing extra cupcakes, hiding Easter eggs and showing up early to help decorate. It was a huge weight off my shoulders.
So whether you are a mom, dad, grandparent, aunt or uncle, be that room helper! It will make the year for your child’s teacher stress-free and will give them more time to teach and enjoy spending time with your child.