For working moms, it's often a challenge to simply manage work and home responsibilities, without adding school volunteer duty. But I'm going to make a strong argument for all parents to be involved in the school community, attending school events and, yes, even helping with school Halloween parties that interrupt the work day. By getting to know the teachers, school staff and parents of your children's peers, you begin to build a community that will help you support your child academically and socially in the years to come.
That's not to say you have to be at every event. Far from it. Part of establishing that blanket of support for your child means involving your spouse, nearby relatives and other adults who can also look out for your child. If a grandparent takes over serving cupcakes and candy at the Halloween party today, she can gain an important window into your child's school life, and may spot issues that you would have overlooked.
Perhaps your job only lets you volunteer in the evenings or weekends -- do it! Most schools and parent-teacher associations have plenty of mailings to send out, baked goods to prepare for sale and other volunteer duties that can be performed in non-work hours. Even if you're mostly interacting with other parents and school staff by email, it's the first step toward building a relationship. As you take those next steps, they will be more likely to call or email when issues arise relating to your child or her class and grade -- and believe me, there will invariably be issues.
Have you found a creative way to get volunteer at school despite having a demanding, full-time job? Please share your experience in the comments section.
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