This is my seventh year teaching and one of my busiest so far. When I first started teaching, I thought that after teaching for three or four years, my job would become pretty easy… I had visions of having all of my lessons for the rest of my career planned and leaving at 3pm each day. But in reality, the longer I teach, the more that I am inspired to do.

In order to manage all of my teaching goals, I realized that I needed more help. So this year, I decided to invite parents into the art room as volunteers.

Most classroom teachers at my school have “room parents,” that help communicate information to each family and help out in the classroom as needed. The librarian at my school uses parent volunteers to help shelve books. And then I remembered that a colleague from one of the schools I used to work at had successfully gotten parents to volunteer in the art room.

I reached out to her and asked what types of jobs the parent volunteers do and then came up with a list that fit my classroom. Some of the jobs include: pre-cutting paper, cleaning glue bottles, sharpening pencils, hanging displays, and scrubbing tables. I sent out an email to my school’s PTO and three parents responded! We met, I gave the parents a tour of my room and explained some of the common tasks. I posed the list in my room and after a few months, the volunteers know what jobs need to be done and where to get the supplies to do them.

I have enjoyed getting to know some of my student’s parents and also getting help with a lot of the jobs that get easily overlooked.

Recently, The Art of Ed also posted an article about parent volunteers. Click here to read 3 Great Ways to Use Parent Volunteers in a TAB Classroom.