This week, many of our classrooms are having volunteer training, so it felt like the perfect time to talk about what “getting involved” means to your child and the MCH community.
All of us have busy lives and it’s easy to think up reasons why to not volunteer: work, family, travel. But even if it’s just for one hour, once a month, the benefits of your child seeing your face in their classroom are surmountable.
Here are 4 wonderful side effects and character-building results that come from you volunteering (and here’s a sneak peek – not all the benefits are for your child. YOU will reap the benefits!):
1.) Actions speak louder than words.
You may tell your child that school is important. But when he sees you in the classroom, he will KNOW it’s important. “Mom has to work. Dad is busy. But if my parent is taking time to be in the classroom, it must be important.”
By volunteering in class, you let your actions do the talking. As a result your child will learn the importance of “showing up” and being involved in the school community. This is an important skill for any student to develop… and he is never too young to learn.
There’s just something about having your mom or dad (or grandparent) volunteer in the classroom. Students have a sense of pride by seeing their family member in the classroom. It also gives other students a chance to get to know you and builds a relationship between you and the teacher.
3.) In their own environment.
Sure you can ask your child how their day went (and they may or may not tell you,) but getting a glimpse into the classroom on a normal day is one way to see what’s really going on. See their natural interactions, how they work, how they play, what they do great and what can be worked on. You’re not going to get all this insight just by asking, “So, what did you learn at school today?”
(With all this being said, volunteering in the classroom is for the benefit of yourself and the classroom. To solely observe your child, please contact your teacher.)
4.) Share your talents.
Everyone brings a unique skill set or perspective into the classroom. And because Montessori is a full-spectrum education, almost nothing is off limits. Do you make an awesome apple pie? Come in and teach the students how to make a pie. Are you knowledgeable about a famous artist? Come in and do an art history discussion where the students can share who their favorite artists are. Are you passionate about gardening? Come and show students how to pick the perfect carrot.
One hour of your time will make a lasting impression on your child, and their friends in the classroom. And it’s because of our awesome parent community, that MCH is a place like no other.
For a list of volunteer opportunities – or to suggest your own – please contact your child’s teacher.
Jennifer McConnell is MCH's Head of School. You can reach her at Jennifer@MCHkids.com.