What is a Room Parent? Well, you are. You have a kid in a classroom. You already did some of that work - good job!
Every teacher at the school should know that they can count on parent support. This year, the PTSA is trying to raise awareness that our teachers need support at every grade level. If you can help your child’s teachers, please do so — your efforts are valued and needed.
Ideally, all parents think of themselves as a Room Parent. Being a Room Parent could mean that you escort a field trip, send an email, or alphabetize papers at home. Being a Room Parent isn't a skills-based job, but it really is a necessary one.
Our teachers know what they need and they know when they need it. Some teachers might need a particular task performed, while others simply need another adult in the room. What ~you~ do depends upon your availability. We just want to make sure that if you are able, you get connected and that no teacher or classroom is left out.
So what do we need?
Room Parents. Occasionally help your child’s teacher(s) with requested tasks.
1 or more per-grade Parent Coordinators. This role organizes their grade-level Room Parents. These parents do not do all the work!! Coordinators find out what the teacher needs, email and schedule Room Parents, forward requests, wish-lists, etc. to the PTSA, organize teacher gifts, and coordinate parent volunteers for school-wide events like the carnival and the end-of-year auction. Note: Middle School Coordinators need to include both grade-level homeroom teachers.
1 - ? Support Faculty Volunteer Parents. This is a unique role for parents who are especially interested in helping our non-homeroom faculty like Colleen Dixon (PE), Sharon Hatrak (Art Studio), Pete Madden (Technology), Zuly Naegele (7-8 Spanish), GeorgeAnne Ries (Library), Elizabeth VanEngel (K-5 Music), and Lori Williams (Speech / Learning therapies). It would mean a lot to give these hard-working teachers some extra assistance if and when they need it.
To sign up as a Room Parent, grade-level Coordinator or Support Faculty Volunteer, contact Rebekah Folsom (email@example.com or 503 997 1236), PTSA Room Parent Coordinator.
Here's an example list of what a Room Parent coordinator ~might~ do:
Make a list of which classroom / grade-level parents are available and what their skills / interests are so you know on whom to call and for what
Ask the teacher what their in-classroom needs are, for example:
Do they want established in-classroom volunteer hours?
Are there at-home / off-hour volunteer options (book repair, typing, editing, etc.)
Field Trip volunteers?
Class plays or other presentations that require volunteers?
Would it help if you created a calendar / schedule for volunteers?
Do they want content placed on their grade-level / classroom website?
Email your classroom parents regarding school-wide events:
Staff holiday appreciation gifts (these are gifts for people like the Principal, secretary, librarian, janitorial staff, and non-homeroom teachers like Spanish, Music, Art, etc.)
Spring auction donations
Spring carnival booths or volunteering
Request a classroom parent attend 1 PTSA board or community meeting (these are held every alternating month, September - June - alternating board / community)
Request a classroom parent attend 1 Coffee Chat (these are held monthly right after drop off)
Gather consensus from the teacher / parents regarding any classroom financial / material needs to post on the Teacher Wish List
Organize teacher recognition / holiday gifts / teacher appreciation day, etc.
This might look like a lot, but once you get an email list going and familiarize yourself with who in the room is able to do which services / events, it really supports itself pretty well. However, I do think a shared 2-3 person per-grade role minimum is ideal.
Here is an example list of ~possible~ things you might do as an individual Room Parent:
Spend time in the classroom if asked
Email other parents for consensus or to schedule an event
Donate to a holiday / end-of-year / teacher appreciation gift
Assist with the classroom play / other performances
Field Trip chaperone
Respond to a teacher / Room Parent Coordinator request for classroom assistance
Volunteer at a school-wide event