The One With Why I Volunteer At School

teacher

I moved from South Carolina to North Carolina when my oldest four. We were there for a year or so before he started kindergarten. In that year, I think I met two people I could consider friends. When #1 started kindergarten, I thought I would volunteer to be room mom and go to a PTO meeting or two to try to meet other mom friends. Little did I know, that the SUCKER tattoo I apparently have  across my head would become visible!

By first grade I was coordinating events, second grade I was the PTO secretary, followed by two years as President and then Vice- President. All while also volunteering in my kids’ classrooms as well.  It was often A LOT. My husband would fuss at me, kids made fun of me, I maybe overdid it. We relocated to Ohio, last June. I am going to make a change and learn to say no, I decide.. And I have. Now I volunteer in #2 and #3’s classrooms one morning a week, #1’s library once a month, and occasionally help with events, etc. It is a good balance. Please know that I am NOT writing this to say that I am a great mom or so generous of my time or looking for any high fives. But I do want to talk about WHY I help.

First of all, it is a GREAT way to meet people. My best/ closest friends in NC all came from volunteering at the school. It’s not only a great way to meet other moms, but to meet and really get to know your children’s teachers and administrators.  Also, you get to see who your kids’ are hanging out with at school …or who you DON’T want your kids to hang out with!

Also, teachers really appreciate what you do and say thank you. I have spent the majority of the day at the school serving lunch to teachers, EVERY SINGLE TEACHER said thank you! I can not tell you the number of meals I serve my family…and NEVER hear thank you. You can buy teachers tissues and Clorox wipes and they are giddy! I really enjoy serving or helping someone who actually appreciates what I do and says “Thank You!”

Let’s face it, teachers are basically volunteering themselves. They are grossly underpaid and underappreciated. Teachers spend hundreds of their dollars on their classroom each year and put in WAY more than a 40 hour work week. And the stress of testing is REAL and ABSURD! They need help. I seriously spend an hour most weeks running copies for a teacher. It is not much and not hard, but it saves her an extra hour that she can be either planning or spending time with her own kids. And again, SO appreciated.

I know many moms work outside of the home and can’t get out to make copies for their kids’ teacher or stock books in the library, but you can help in some way. I have seriously taken leftover cake or dessert in and put it in the teacher’s lounge…it was like Christmas. They were so happy! Teachers are really just like moms…they just want to know they are seen and they matter.

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week, so teachers will be getting gifts and lunch and all kinds of great things. But can we try to appreciate teachers EVERY week?

After all, they are putting up with MY kids all day so I don’t have to..and making them LESS DUMB!

Thank you Teachers!!

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2 Comments on “The One With Why I Volunteer At School

  1. Yes! Teachers are great and appreciate help! I have been both a stay at home mom and a working full time mom throughout my kids schooling. What I have found out though..if you say yes to being room parent or other type of volunteer position- for example yearly fundraising or 8th grade graduation or team mom…. , other parents expect you to be one forever!!! They are the ones that seem to take advantage. As each got kid older I found myself pulling back a bit so that other parents.could “have a turn”. It’s important to be able to say no so that you are not taken advantage of or have too much responsibility that it takes away from your other kids or family life 🙂

    • I have also been told that PTO is “my job” a couple of times! Which really upset me. I am just a volunteer, my family is “my job” It is important to help, but balance is important!