5 Ways Working Moms Can Get Involved at Their Kids' School
By WorkingMomMagic on September 15, 2014
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It is back-to-school time! My sweet little man is going into first grade, and I learned a lot about school involvement during his first year in kindergarten. As a working mom, it is tough to always know what is going on at his school, but I have found ways to stay in the loop.
Here are 5 ways working moms can get involved at their kids' school.
Email your kids' teachers: This is huge. Teachers offer up their info at the beginning of each year. Use it. Send them an email introducing yourself. (It is tough for teachers to remember everyone they meet during that brief meet & greet before school starts.) For me, I let the teacher know that while I work full-time, I like to be involved when I can, and that they are welcome to email me when they need something. I do the same thing when I find out the homeroom parent's name. Since they probably won't be seeing me around as much as other moms, I like to make myself known.
Join the PTA: I don't have any time to help with the PTA. None. Zero. But I joined anyway. Just go to the big PTA volunteer breakfast at the beginning of the year and introduce yourself. Last year, I got the contact info for dozens of fabulous moms who use their free time to make my children's school experience a better one. I made it clear that while my direct involvement would be limited, I could help in other ways—make phone calls, donate money for parties, and so on. That way they included me in some of those email lists and I always felt like I knew what was going on at the school, beyond my son's class. Since I was a PTA member, I was able to sign up as a school volunteer, which meant I got a background check and official badge with my picture. This made being able to visit the school much easier, especially last minute visits.
Speak up: I can't make it to many classroom events that the school invites parents to. (There are a lot!) I go to what I can. However, when I know I have a day off during the week, I email the teacher and homeroom mom to see if there is any help they need on that day. Since they already know my situation, they will usually just offer to have me come in to help with a craft or something. Right now, this is easy since my son is in a younger grade. So if you have a day you can come into the school, just ask.
Have a lunch date: Many schools, my son's included, will allow parents to join their children during lunchtime. I did this once last year, and Hudson still talks about it. It was a lot of fun, too! I got to sit with all the kids from his class and hear the five-year-old gossip. Also, since this is an occasional thing, Hudson was very excited that his mom came to see him, and I could tell he felt very special. (Especially since I totally surprised him.) I will definitely be doing this a few times this upcoming year.
Try to make your kids school functions: As a working mom, I know this is not always possible. But I do make a note of special events, and if there is a way to fit it in with just a little re-shuffling, I do it. School plays, mini-graduations, book fair, and science fairs: They are important and special to your child. I may not make them all, but I will never just write them off simply because I work. If I have to go in late so I can see the Holiday Show, then so be it. I find it works best to be honest with your bosses. I simply tell them, "I have a thing to go to for my son, I will be in late. Call me if you need me." Done and done.
These days a lot of moms work. Teachers and other school employees are understanding since they also want what is best for your child. Just because you have a full-time job, you don't have to sit on the sidelines when it comes to your kids' school. Just speak up, make friends, think outside the box, and you can make school time memories as well!
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