I wanted to talk about how dads can get involved in the kids’ schools. My husband said that he always thought that “By the time my kids were in school there would be equality in parental volunteering.
Instead of “Homeroom Moms” everyone would just say “Homeroom Parents” and instead of seeing only moms volunteering at the bake and book sales, there would be plenty of dads there too.
Well, although there are a few dads who I see consistently, the fact remains that the majority of parental involvement in schools is from moms.
My husband is sharing a few tips today…
How can a dad get involved in the kids’ schools?
It can be hard to know what to do when you go into a child’s school if you have never volunteered before. If you’re on the fence about how to get involved in your child’s school, here are some of the ways that have helped me. Not all are available at every school, but there are things that you can do no matter where you live. Don’t be intimidated – your kids need you!
Ways for Dads to Get Involved in School
Be a Guest Reader
My son’s teacher used to invite parents in to be Mystery Guest Readers in the classroom. It took about 45 minutes and the teacher was great about trying to schedule the time around when parents could come. She didn’t tell the kids who was coming, but, instead, announced in the morning that there would be a Mystery Guest Reader sometime that day.
Imagine our son’s surprise when I walked in to read his class a story! It was a simple, one-time commitment that made me want to get more involved. Email or call your child’s teacher to see if he or she has a similar program that you can participate in.
Our children’s school is big into STEM projects and they always need supplies and volunteers to help out. Dads, it’s a great opportunity to get involved with a hands-on project and encourage kids to develop higher level thinking skills. If you’re an engineer or architect or contractor, these STEM projects and challenges are right up your alley.
When you think of the PTA, do you imagine only women volunteering? Sadly, that’s the case in most schools. Change that! Volunteer to organize events and be part of the activities that support your children, their teachers, and their school. You don’t have to sign-on as a board member, but getting involved is something that will be much appreciated.
Don’t Miss the Conferences
While it doesn’t involve volunteering, it’s important for dads to be there for parent-teacher conferences, along with the concerts, and events. Not only does it mean the world to your child to know that you care, but it also means a lot to your spouse. Don’t miss those moments.
I may not have much of a green thumb, but I can manage some weeding and watering of the school’s garden. Our elementary school has a vegetable garden that needs weekly volunteers to tend to it while the kids are in school. It’s a great, low-key way for dads to volunteer if they don’t feel comfortable inside the classroom.
Field Trip Volunteer
My wife was a teacher and while most things don’t stress her out, field trips always did. The thought of keeping an eye on every child was stressful to her. She said that she loved when parents would volunteer to help… and ACTUALLY help (not chat with the other parents). Our kids have always loved when I went on the field trips, so I make a point to find out when they are going to be and free that day so I can go.
JUST BE THERE.
No matter what you do, by volunteering in some way at your child’s school, you’re showing that you care. Not only does it mean a lot to your child and spouse, but it means a lot to the teachers and staff as well. They need more father figures getting involved and showing kids what it means to be involved. You can do this!
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