How to Volunteer in Kindergarten

By Sara Ipatenco
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Volunteering in your child's kindergarten classroom lets you see what he's learning, spend a little extra time with him, form a relationship with the teacher and help her get things ready for lessons. Kindergarten teachers spend hours planning and preparing lessons, and most of them greatly welcome any help you're willing to give. Review your child's school policy regarding parent volunteers, then step up and offer your time and talents.

Step 1

Tell your child's kindergarten teacher you're willing to help. Let her know what days and times you're available so she can determine what you can assist her with.

Step 2

Explain to the kindergarten teacher what you're willing to help with. Perhaps you would like to read with small groups of children and be on call to come help with a big art project, such as painting. You might enjoy being the room parent, who is responsible for planning class parties and organizing teacher gifts. If you have special talents, such as taking pictures or doing science experiments, offer to do specific projects such as create a class scrapbook page for the yearbook.

Step 3

Fill out the necessary paperwork to get started. Many schools require you to fill out confidentiality agreements and pass a background check before you're allowed to work with children in the classroom. While this can be a hassle, do it willingly or you likely won't be permitted to come help in the kindergarten classroom.

Step 4

Be responsible. If you say you'll volunteer at a certain time, be on time. If you agree to a regular volunteer time each week, come at that time on a consistent basis. When you volunteer to do something, your child's kindergarten teacher is counting on your help, so it's important not to let her down.

Step 5

Listen to the kindergarten teacher. Your help is only valuable if you're doing what she's asked you to do. Follow her directions so you're being a help instead of a hindrance. If you don't do what you've been asked to do, it creates even more work for the kindergarten teacher because she'll have to go back and do it herself.

Step 6

Be prepared. If you've been asked to help teach a lesson or do an art project, get your materials and plan together ahead of time. For example, if you're helping the kindergartners paint, collect the materials before going into the classroom so the students can get right to work. If you need to make copies to help teach a lesson, come a few minutes early and get that done before heading into the classroom. Being prepared will prevent the kindergartners from getting bored, which can cause chaos. Prove to the kindergarten teacher that you're a good volunteer, and you'll likely be asked to help again in the future.

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.