Thursday, December 16, 2010

How can I get more parents to volunteer?

Ms. Dorothy,
My kindergartener has had several parties since school started. The classroom mom sends out an email each time asking parents to either contribute snacks, crafts, games or a small monetary donation. Every single time it's the same 4 moms that help. One mom even ended up spending $100 (TRUE STORY!) to make sure that there were enough games and activities for whole class. It seems so unfair that out of 30 students, 4 moms are shouldering all of the responsibility. How can we encourage more parents to step-up?
- Exhausted Momma

It is generally true that 10% of the people do 90% of the work, so this isn't unusual. Because you are parents of kindergarten children, you may just be seeing this for the first time. It won't be the last time you find yourself shouldering more than your fair share. You are one of the 10%. Thank you for that, and for all you do.

The problem here is not that the other parents won't step up, the problem is that the teacher is misusing the support that is available.
Rather than throwing parties and having parents providing games and crafts and food, the teacher should be using these willing volunteers to read with students, organize parent education nights, and share their talents, passions and careers with the children.

Perhaps the solution is to get those 4 parents together and have them suggest an alternative to the next party.
What a powerful learning tool it would it be to have these parents find and plan a service project for the class. They could teach their children the value of volunteering, and maybe change that 10% statistic in the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment