Looking for a way to help out at school? Consider becoming the Room Parent/Friends Representative for your child’s teacher.
What are the duties of a room parent/Friends Representative?
The duties of a room parent and/or Friends rep will vary from class to class, the best way to find out what your specific teacher needs is to check in with them either in person or by email. What Amanda needs in Kindergarten can be very different from what is needed in Anthony or Sarah’s classroom.
However, here are a few guidelines and tips to consider. First and foremost, identify yourself to your community of parents by an email sent either through your teacher or, if you have one, through the classroom website. If you do not have a classroom website, consider helping your teacher set one up. If they opt not to use Shutterfly, it is very important that you create an email contact list so you can reach the parents in your classroom. Ask your teacher to request permission from each parent to send their email address to you and create a contact list in your email program.
Let the community know you will be their point of contact for questions and, if you don’t know the answer, reassure them you will do your best to find out! We have many new Friends this year and they need to know they can turn to you with questions. Speaking of, when new families join your classroom after the start of school please reach out and welcome them personally and introduce yourself as the room parent and tell them how to get in touch with you if they need any help settling in.
Look for opportunities to get your classroom together outside of school. Organize park play dates, plan to go to a Valley Cinema showing together or out to Chapman School to watch the swifts. Ask your teacher if they’d like an end of the year party and help plan that with them.
Give your parents a heads up that you will be organizing collective gifts for your teacher such as birthday gifts, holiday gifts and an end of the year thank you and will give them plenty of advance notice of how and when to contribute if they are able.
Let your classroom know, at least one week in advance, when it’s your turn to fill the snack chest. Create a sign up sheet asking for a minimum of three to four volunteers a week to bring nut free snacks in for the staff. The snacks are to be delivered to the office; there is a bright pink treasure chest near the fridge. Perishable snacks or drinks can be put into the fridge, leave a note if you do so the staff knows that they can help themselves! The snack chest schedule is posted on https://friendsofswcharter.com/staff-snack-box-refill-schedule/
Keep a close eye on your email; FOSWCS will contact you via email with order forms, notices and information to be forwarded to your community. We appreciate your prompt attention in forwarding that material!
Let your teacher know that you’re ready, willing and able to help seek out and organize volunteers with tasks such as field trip chaperones, cleaning rotations or for other classroom needs such as returning library books, filling homework folders, filing or copying worksheets. Work with your teacher to identify the best way to notify parents when help is needed. The Shutterfly website, if your class is using it, can be a valuable resource in spreading the word when help is needed but don’t discount a good old fashioned sign up sheet posted outside your classroom door! Talk to your teacher about what they need and check in often to be sure their needs are being met.
Being a room parent/FOSWCS rep is a very rewarding experience and an excellent way to get to know the parents in your classroom better and you can feel great knowing that you are alleviating some of the burden for your teacher.
If you have any questions about this position please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Board member, FOSWCS
Great starting point info, thanks Krista!