I was back on CHEX Daily last night chatting about ways parents can get involved in their children's schools. You can catch the 3 minute clip here:
There are tons of opportunities to get involved at school. Many take place during the workday of course, which isn't an option for a lot of parents, but if you're able, you can go on field trips, help in the classroom with reading, science workshops or arts and crafts, work in the library, prepare hot lunch, or even be one of those lice-checkers! (There's a waiting list for those positions. Just kidding.)
Parents who work or are at home with little ones during the day have options as well, as lots of planning, shopping, ordering, calling, sewing, writing, decorating, cleaning-up and number-crunching for school activities can be done outside of the regular school/work day. There's definitely something for every interest and talent, and roles can be ongoing or just a one-time thing.
Your child's teacher is the best contact if you want to be involved directly with his or her class, but as your kids get older there may be less of a need - and they may be less inclined to want you so close!
You can also check in with the school secretary, who will definitely have her finger on the pulse of what opportunities there may be for parent volunteering, and consider attending a School Council meeting. Even if you don't want to commit to a position on the Council, you can learn a lot about what's happening with your school, especially in terms of parental involvement, by being present at the meetings.
Even if you're able to make appearances at sporting events, Fun Fairs, concerts and recitals (or send a grandparent in proxy) it sends an important message to your kids about how much you value what goes on at their school.
A note about my TV wardrobe:
When I arrived last night, host Teresa Kaszuba complimented my outfit and jokingly asked if I was really a teacher, because I didn't look like one (I quipped back that I just play one on TV. Hey, thought that was a pretty good one!)
I have to admit I actually come home and change before I head into the Peterborough station. While it is very rare for me to wear heels in my primary classroom, and we are encouraged to have our shoulders covered in the workplace, on CHEX I am aiming for a teacher-slash-stylish-TV-personality look...so I amp it up a bit before I go!