Are you allowed to help out in your own childs class ?

(43 Posts)
mumto2andnomore Tue 29-Sep-09 18:22:08

Im a teacher and my head has just announced that parents will no longer be able to help out in the own childs class (for reading, helping with crafts etc ) Just wondered how common this is ? Seems daft to me, its not like we have had any problems before.

Cant see us getting much parental help now !

mrz Tue 29-Sep-09 19:07:27

We have had children who have been "upset" by having their parent in the class and others who have compared other children's reading levels but in most cases it isn't a problem. Perhaps the head has had a complaint?

Hulababy Tue 29-Sep-09 19:11:14

I work in a Y1 class and the parents who help out with reading, cooking, etc. are parents of the children in our class. It seems to make more sense that way. If you are offering your time to help out, then you'd want it to be your own child's class to benefit really I guess. It has never caused any problems yet. Only time we put parents off is if their child hasn't yet settled at school, as better to wait til they are before they come in.

I have also helped out in DD's class when she was in Y1 and Y2, and in the other infant classes, up til last year. Was never a problem. I was doing it on a more formal basis though, gaining experience f a primary school setting.

Not at our school - I've helped out 1/2 a day a week for nearly 3 years and have never been allowed into my DS class.

clam Tue 29-Sep-09 19:14:48

Yeah, we had this. Stemmed from a couple of parents gossiping in the village about their children's classmates' abilities. The Head then set up a list, where people were invited to sign up for helping out generally, in any class but their own child's. Needless to say, hardly anyone signed. Then, they could help with their own child's class, but not in the same room (!) and I've lost track now, to be honest. Although there are parents out there (not MNers, of course) who use the opportunity to spy on what's going on. Teachers get twitchy about that, being sensitive souls.

happywomble Tue 29-Sep-09 19:19:27

I help out in my childrens classes. I would be less inclined to give up my time for another class.

jalopy Tue 29-Sep-09 19:23:59

I think it's quite common. Volunteers at our local primary are not able to work in their own child's class.

Wilts Tue 29-Sep-09 19:31:45

Not in our primary. Small village school, certain parents gossiping etc. I personally think it's a good thing.

Also if you want to support your local school surely it won't matter where you are asked to help?

HSMM Tue 29-Sep-09 19:38:06

Our school head just says we are not allowed to help in our own childs class in their first term at the school. After that parents are allocated to the teacher who needs them (could be any class). I did a lot of reading with the Year 1s, including my own DD.

piscesmoon Tue 29-Sep-09 19:40:00

Seems daft to me. I supply teach and am always thrilled if I turn up at the school and get adult help.

needmorehoursinaweek Tue 29-Sep-09 19:44:53

I've always helped in primary but never in my own DC class. I asked to help in another class. I've done craft work, cooking, heard readers, help dress the little ones after swimming. You either want to help or you don't. If someone only wants to help in their own DC class then maybe they are doing it for the wrong reasons. I suspect they are the same people who can't help sneeking a look in a visiting child reading bag on a playdate.

CADS Tue 29-Sep-09 20:02:27

At our school, parents ARE allowed to help in their DC's class. I have recently started just to get a idea of what ds (Y1) is learning at school as he never tells me anything.

I have done alot of filing and haven't had the time or bothered to look at what kid is doing what. However, I do stop and look at ds's work.

All the other parent helpers that I know have always helped in the DC's class.

Highlander Tue 29-Sep-09 20:22:19

jeez, if I was in the same class as DS1 it would be a nightmare.

epithet Tue 29-Sep-09 20:23:59

I help out in dd1's class. Parent helpers are always attached to their dc class here - hasn't ever occurred to me that it might be problematic because it never has been.

piprabbit Tue 29-Sep-09 20:26:20

I help out in my DDs class, all parent volunteers work in their DCs classes.
But, I don't get to work directly with my DD, and the reading work I do is away from the main classroom so she barely knows I'm there.

wilbur Tue 29-Sep-09 20:27:23

Allowed and very gratefully received in our school.

Smithagain Tue 29-Sep-09 20:27:51

No, we're not allowed to help in our own children's class.

bellissima Tue 29-Sep-09 20:28:44

I used to help with the guided reading in DD1's class and in fact asked to switch to another year. I just felt awkward suggesting that so and so go up or down a group, when I knew the children and their parents. TBH in that year probably no one would mind, but some of the mothers in my younger DDs class are unbelievably pushy and quite frankly they would be comparing reading levels if/when allowed in (school only gets parents in from Yr 3) - so actually I agree with the policy. Is it so difficult to get parents to help out if it's not actually their DC's year? Surely they can see that some reciprocal, neutral help is of benefit.

happywomble Tue 29-Sep-09 20:31:27

Wanting to help in your own childs class is not necessarily for the wrong reasons needmore. How dare you make such judgements. I am not in their actual classroom most of the time anyway..I sit in a seperate room and the children come in one by one to read.

DrZeus Tue 29-Sep-09 20:31:57

When I volunteered at school, I was in ds2's nursery class. Now I work at school as a TA, I'm in the same year as ds1 but def NOT the same class.

happywomble Tue 29-Sep-09 20:34:03

I also don't have a problem with other mothers I know listening to my child read. I don't care if they know what reading level my child is at. What does it matter?

bellissima Tue 29-Sep-09 20:35:09

I'm sorry happywomble but needmore's judgements would definitely apply to some of the mothers in DD2's class. I'm afraid some people are just like that. I know of one of her classmates who was grilled from reception as to who was in which reading group (she told DD2).

primarymum Tue 29-Sep-09 20:36:09

When I started as a parent helper it was in R and Yr2 where my children were at the time, the following year it was R/1/2/3 as my children moved up but the previous teachers "held onto me"! When I was helping in R/1/2/3/4/5 and 6 I gave up and trained as a teacher

piscesmoon Tue 29-Sep-09 22:44:21

There are lots of ways to help without hearing reading.

Clary Wed 30-Sep-09 00:30:36

Parents always help in another class at my DCs' school. It's a good thing IMO.

It works for me as DS2 in partic would be all over me if I were in his class.

It's a big intake so if parents want to help in the same year (eg to get a view on the curriculum etc) then there is always at least one other class (and often 2).

I have been helping in FS2 for the last 4 years and it wasn't because I wanted to be in DS2's class. I have only been in the right year once IYSWIM! I do it because I enjoy it and I like to help the school.

I don't agree you would only want to help your child's class. After all, they are only one child of 30; you have to be doing it because you want to help the children in general, surely?

We are allowed to help in our DC's class. I have always chosen not to. I do see why some schools choose not to have parents in their DCs' classes though - I have seen some parents do it from very poor motivation. Most, of course, just want to help.
I really don't see though, why it would put anyone off helping not to be in their child's class; surely if the school as a whole is benefiting that's good for your child?

piscesmoon Wed 30-Sep-09 07:34:03

I agree with Clary. I just helped where needed, sometimes it was DCs class, sometimes not-it really didn't matter. I remember doing a lot of cookery with yr 6 when DS1 was reception.If you only want to help with your own DC's class perhaps you should question whether you really want to help. I don't ever remember hearing readers-I don't think it is the best way to use a parent helper.

Sexonlegs Wed 30-Sep-09 07:58:17

At dd1's school you are allowed to help out in your childs class, and I help in dd1's class. I don't however help her ability group; I am with other groups in the class iyswim.

I have to say I don't see any issues atm, but I can understand there could be issues with leaking info etc.

My friends' ds's school has just introduced a policy of not being allowed to help in their dc class.

I have to say, I wouldn't come in to school if I could not be in dd1's class.

I wonder if any school has guidelines they issue to their parent helpers? I think we could do with some. I sometimes find myself alone with the children if the teacher has popped out for a mo and never sure if I can raise my voice if they are mis-behaving.

Hulababy Wed 30-Sep-09 08:16:01

Clary - lots of mums do only want to help in their own child's class though. Have heard this first hand a few times where I work. It is sad that they'll only help out in a specific classroom though.

Clary Wed 30-Sep-09 08:48:44

Hula, yes that is sad.

Like they are only doing it because they care about their little ones.

I like to think that I am helping xxxx and xxx's mum is maybe helping my DS.

mumto2andnomore Wed 30-Sep-09 09:18:51

Thanks everyone for your replies.

Seems its pretty split.

I think parents should be allowed but should have to sign something that says they will not gossip about things they see in school, I know most dont but you do get some that do !

I really value parents coming in to help, another pair of hands is so useful, the children can do things they wouldnt otherwise be able to do.

katiestar Wed 30-Sep-09 09:20:03

It is allowed in our school but I don't think its a good thing .Last year I helped in the R/Y1 class which I didn't have a child in every week.This yr DD2 has started i reception and I don't want to help.I don't want other parents to think I am snooping or trying to get rownie Points for my child.Also you almost inevitably at some point are going to see things that are wrong or that you would rather not know about. Also I think it really helps them develop independence.

MintyCane Wed 30-Sep-09 10:21:18

We are not allowed to help because ( as others have said ) there was a problem with parents talking about other kids reading levels etc and using reading help as a way of seeing where there kid was in class. There was a big row about it at school and now parents are not allowed except for art projects. Shame sad

vbusymum1 Wed 30-Sep-09 10:34:27

It is allowed at our school but I had to stop helping as non of my DCs wanted me to help in their class and as its a smallish school with mixed year groups there wasn't anywhere that needed me that I could go to.
We've recently been reminded that all parental help is much appreciated but I can see people would object to parents in their own DC's classes.
When I did help out I often felt awkward if I'd seen something in the class that I, as a parent, would want to know about but felt that it wasn't my place to say anything. There was one teacher who seemed to have a real downer on the child of a friend of mine and the poor child could do nothing right for the teacher and was often shouted at. This was a few years ago now and I do sometimes wonder if she (the mum) ever knew what a hard time the child got.

happywomble Wed 30-Sep-09 10:36:53

piscesmoon - I don't think it is necessary for you to criticise me for helping out with reading or my childs school for asking me to help with reading.

Of course there are many ways to help out in school. I was asked to do sewing once in reception (not my forte!).

My DS likes the fact I go to his class, it brightens up his day that his mummy comes into help. It is nice to have a snapshot of the class at work as I pop back in to get the next reader. I enjoy getting to know the other children in my childs class.

Obviously it is wrong when parent helpers are indiscreet and start chatting out loud about what level everyone is on. It is these parents that are wrong not every person who helps in their child's class.

Parent helpers are volunteers not TAs therefore I think it is a bit much for schools to stop people helping in their own childs class.

I have also contributed in other ways to the school as a whole by being on the PTA etc.

The school in question is very successful academically and always oversubscribed so I don't think parents helping with the reading in their own childs class is doing too much harm.

katiestar Wed 30-Sep-09 11:19:33

To be fair i am sure most parents know what books other people's kids are on anyway !

MintyCane Wed 30-Sep-09 11:24:18

They do ? How ?

Anngeree Wed 30-Sep-09 11:38:03

I helped in DS's class on Friday afternoons for 2yrs.

In reception I'd help with arts & crafts, last yr when he went into yr1 I helped with reading, computer lessons & filing. I hardly got a chance to work with my own DS apart from if I volunteered to help out with class visits.

At the end of last term I was asked by his yr1 teacher if I would help out with her new class this term which I've started to do & thoroughly enjoy.

It's good to know I can make a difference even if i'm not helping in DS's class.

MintyCane Wed 30-Sep-09 11:40:33

I have absolutley no idea what any child in my kids classes are reading. I am genuinely interested in how other people know.

spinspinsugar Wed 30-Sep-09 11:51:56

Yes, although I help in maths. I am genuinely amazed at how every single one of those children have improved (reception, in Oz - year starts in March). I have no problem with other parents knowing where my ds is at with reading. Why would I? Every child is running their own race imo, especially when there is so much variation in age. When I am in class I care about all of them equally, as I'm sure the other parents do.

vbusymum1 Wed 30-Sep-09 11:52:35

I agree with Minty - unless your child is able to remember what books everyone else is reading or you do a playground survey how could you know ?

piscesmoon Wed 30-Sep-09 17:30:52

I wasn't criticising happywomble-lots of schools use parents to hear readers-I just, personally, don't think it is the best use of the time.

It often works very well, but I expect that there is a problem with some parents and that is why they have the rule. If they are obsessed with reading levels then it might not be a good thing. I have been surprised on here to see posters who look in the DC's friend's book bag-it had never occurred to me that another DC's reading skills were relevant to my DC.

Hulababy Wed 30-Sep-09 18:20:10

In the school I work at I actually do think parents being used to help her individual readers IS a good idea. Several of our children are heard very infrequently at home, if at all. And IMO, in order to become a good reader, you need to be doing a lot of individual reading, with an adult guiding and talking about the story (comprehension type stuff). By using out parent helpers in this way it can make a great deal of difference.

We have a lovely lady, in her 80s, who comes in one afternoon a week and does individual reading with some of our children, and they both enjoy it immensley, and the children definitely benefit.

Other ways we use our parent helpers is for support with art and cooking activities.

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