As a teacher, you have a never-ending stream of work. Here is the good news: you don’t have to do it all. Classroom volunteers are the teacher’s version of outsourcing, and you should do it as much as you can. Ideally, you have a solid group of parents to fill this role, but if you don’t, consider recruiting your past students. They will love coming back to help one of their favorite teachers. Other sources for volunteers: high school students who may be able to earn credit for helping in your classroom and senior citizens, such as grandparents or enthusiastic older folks from your local retirement home.
Before you assign a task to a volunteer, make sure they are a good match. Considering the following categories can help you select the right volunteer for each job:
- At school, working directly with students
- At school, not working with students
- At home (great for parents who can’t make it into the classroom)
- One time/occasional help
- Taking down bulletin boards/student artwork
- Putting up bulletin boards/student artwork
- Cutting stuff on the paper cutter
- Cutting stuff out at home using scissors
- Sharpening pencils
- Laminating task cards and other materials
- Binding books with binding machine
- Using the die-cut machine
- Collating and stapling papers
- Distributing end-of-the-week papers into mailboxes
- Correcting assignments/tests that do not need comments
- Labeling books and classroom materials
- Cleaning computers and keyboards
- Organizing classroom library, games, art materials etc.
- Repairing books, games, and other classroom materials
- Organizing, cleaning, and replacing classroom materials, such as crayons, markers, and glue
- Creating materials for centers, games, etc.
- Setting up centers or stations
- Facilitating centers or stations
- Monitoring class while you work with a small group
- Using flashcards with a group or individual
- Leading a small group
- Helping/tutoring one student who is struggling
- Listening to students read one-on-one
- Working one-on-one with students during writing workshop
- Helping a student who has been absent to catch up
- Helping a student get organized/find papers/basically pull it together
- Leading enrichment activities with fast finishers
- Supervising indoor recess so you can have a break (if school allows)
- Reading out loud to the class
- Ordering books from book clubs, collecting checks, etc.
- Sorting and distributing book club books once they have arrived
- Setting up science, art, or cooking stations or centers
- Helping with particularly involved art, science, or cooking projects
- Cleaning up science, art, or cooking stations or centers
- Organizing and implementing fundraisers
- Organizing class parties
- Helping with class parties
- Helping on special days like Science Fairs, Read-Ins, Author Days, etc.
- Guest speakers
- Field trip leaders
- Making costumes and props for classroom productions
- Taking pictures of students; printing and organizing pictures
- Scanning/saving student work
- Maintaining classroom website
- Helping with parent newsletter
- DIY projects like making milk carton stools or personal whiteboards
- Returning books you have used for a unit to the public library
- Buying schools supplies (since you are buying them anyway, why not send a parent out to do it? Give her your hard earned cash and tell her what she needs to buy with it. It will raise some awareness, and maybe she will even share the experience with other parents, and they will contribute to the cause.)
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This post was part of the Bright Ideas Blog Hop. Find more ways to make your school year amazing by checking out some of the posts below. There are a lot of posts, so looking for your grade level below each thumbnail will really help!
What a great list! I forget several of these every time a parent says "What can I do?" I think I need to print this!
Sally from Elementary Matters
Jennifer @ Simply Kinder says
I always struggle with this. I appreciate this post a ton!!!!
Stefanie Galvin says
What a fabulous post! Thanks for sharing your ideas – this will come in very handy!
Miss Galvin Learns
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ann mosley says
I really enjoy this idea. It’s really hard to keep up with everything during the lesson. Sometimes you simply need minor assistance because multitasking isn't an option. Moreover, some kids would love to help you. It makes them feel important and develops their sense of responsibility. This way you will make sure they won’t write an essay for money in the future. Diligence is something you have to foster kids while they are small. But of course, as you've mentioned, your requests have to be easy to handle. Anyway, thanks for a great post!
This is a nice post.