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Parent volunteer teaching assistant - what would you love from them?(3 Posts)
Hi, I'm a sahm so have plenty of spare time now both dc are in primary school. I heard the school was looking for parent volunteers to go in and help read with the children, do a couple of ta bits, etc so I met with the teacher who coordinates it all and got my dbs check done.
I start in the volunteering after half term (2 mornings a week in infants - mainly year 1&2, as dd is in reception and they try and avoid having parents in the same class as their child).
As teachers what would you be hoping for from a volunteer? And equally what should I absolutely avoid doing?
I just used to turn up and do whatever the teacher asked for that particular session.
I did a lot of reading, but with the younger ones the teachers liked to give the helpers some of hte more time consuming stuff so I also did cooking, sewing and gardening.
Absolutely under no circumstances ever discuss any of the children with anyone other than the teacher. Even when other parents come up in the playground and say little Johnny really enjoyed reading with you yesterday and ask how he is doing/how is his best friend doing/where in the class you think he might be etc. I just used to say 'Oh yes, we had fun'.
Be proactive! Sometimes a parent volunteer can be more work than help. If the teacher is busy with something, don't interrupt to ask what to do. Just get on with things. Tidy up, sharpen pencils, organise resources, reset activities etc. Pay attention to who are the children who need support and support them without giving answers. Google good questions to ask when reading with children - maybe print out a list of questions and take it with you.
Try to cultivate good conversation with the children to enhance their verbal skills but don't ask lots of personal questions of the children. I've had parents 'help' in my class but pumped the children for information about their family lives. They didn't last long before being told that it wasn't working out.
Good for you for volunteering!
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