Many schools are now operating on a shoestring budget, so look to parents in assisting them in meeting their educational objectives.
Teachers are forced to be experts in all areas of the school curriculum as well provide independent learning and social experiences for their children.
It is a tough job!
Involved parent offer a huge resource and support base for the school community while showing their children the importance of participating in the larger community. Some parents may even take the next step by looking for some part time paying work at the school. More times than not they have to have some qualification or related experience to be considered for any of this type of work.
Not only will the school reap the benefits of your involvement “” you will, too. By interacting with teachers, administrators, and other parents on a regular basis, you’ll gain a firsthand understanding of your child’s daily activities. You’ll also tap into trends and fads of school life that can help you communicate with your kids as they grow and change (all without intruding on their privacy or personal space).
Many parents volunteer their services to hear the children read, offer some supervision, conduct PE classes etc. To be as effective as possible serious parents might even see that there are some aspects of their child’s education that they would like to be involved in but do not have the necessary expertise or training to do so.
They can act as a classroom helper, mentor or tutor students, help children with special needs, volunteer in a school computer lab, help the school administrators prepare grant proposals, letter-writing campaigns, or press releases or provide other administrative assistance, work as a library assistant or offer to help with story time or reading assistance in the school library, work with the school band or orchestra or coach music students individually, help out with visual arts, crafts, and design courses and projects, hold a workshop for students in trade or technical programs.
For those parents who think that they might like to spend more time in more specialized school activities, but are unable or don’t really desire to go back to university to gain a teaching qualification there are now options where you can study part time and in your own home. In vocational education there is now the popular emerging nationally accredited Certificate III in Education Support course that gives you the academic knowledge and experience to work within the school environment in any of the teacher assistant duties that the school offers. It can be studied online, at your own pace and in the privacy of your own home.
Some parents undertake this course just to be current with the education system of which their children are a significant part. Be part of a system that enriches the classroom, help build skills, confidence and self-esteem.
Dr Paul Batman