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Quiz: What Kind of School Parent are You?

Your kids are back in school! Take a few moments to consider where you fall in the big spectrum of parents. What kind of school parent are you?

1. There’s a “Join the PTA” banner on a table at school registration. You…

a) Use the fire exit to avoid making eye contact. Why can’t they do it all online?
b) Pick up a few information sheets and perhaps sign up to help with a class party or two.
c) Admire the banner. You made it. Look at those full color brochures. You made them. In fact, you are the one sitting behind the table, which you made.

2. It’s time for the first class party!

10 Ways to Support Your Classroom Teacher This Year

It’s August, which means back to school, which means saying goodbye to summer, which means shelling out the moola.

Is it the smell of new school supplies? or the sound of money skittering out of my checking account faster than cockroaches when the lights go on that reminds me of Back to School time more?

It’s the time of year when you pay school fees, buy supplies, supplement hot lunch accounts and so much more. I’ve never been a big fan of back to school season, but now that I also have to pay for it, I detest it.

Are Basket Drawings Teaching Materialism or Teaching a Lesson?

In the spring, our school holds a basket drawing as their major fundraiser for the year. The basket drawing brings in thousands of dollars for the PTA.

Each class chooses two themes for their baskets – this year my daughter’s class did Star Wars and Monster High. The parents are then asked to donate items on the theme or money to the baskets. No one is forced to donate or participate.

The drawing is usually held on a Thursday, along with a pasta dinner and book fair. During the week of the big drawing, baskets are showcased in the main display cases and tickets are sold. Every student and staff member are given one free ticket to enter.

On the big night, winners’ names are drawn while everyone gathers in the gym.

There is a lot of excitement during the week and especially that night. The community comes together to support the school.

The big problem?

Is Your Volunteering Truly Benefiting Your Child?

When I was growing up, my mom was always involved in our elementary school. She was active in the PTA, served as president and worked as a teacher’s aide in my later years. I enjoyed having my mom be a part of my education and visible in the school.

This left such an impact on me that I am now involved in my daughters’ school.

Like my mom, I am active, but work to give my children space to be themselves and find their own place without their mother hovering. Unlike my mom, I work outside the home. Also unlike my mom, I do not participate in the PTA directly, but help out in other capacities.

I help in the classroom, fill Friday folders, act as room parent, organize the science fair and sit on the school improvement committee. I also ran a science club last fall.

After that list, I’m wondering if I am giving them space, or enough of my undivided attention.

Are Parents Desperate for Extracurricular Learning or Just Looking for Babysitting?

Our school’s PTA asked me this fall if I’d be interested in running a science club after school. As if I didn’t have enough on my plate, I agreed.

After tossing around the best way to have a science club, we decided to start with a Halloween science club. One that would meet one time in October and share some of the best experiments from my arsenal. I have it easy, because I work at a science toy and education company.

We would gauge response and see if an actual club is viable for the second semester.

I was offering two sessions – one for grades 1-3 and one for grades 4-6. The PTA was sponsoring and providing the opportunity for free. They would fill at 20 and admission would be on a first come first served basis. I hoped someone would think my little club sounded cool and sign up their kids.