Benefits of Parent Volunteers in the Classroom

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  • 0:03 Parents in the Classroom
  • 1:00 How the Parent's Child…
  • 1:53 How Classmates Benefit
  • 3:01 How Parents Benefit
  • 3:46 How the Teacher &…
  • 5:07 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sherri Nash

Sherri’s teaching includes middle school through college. Degrees include bachelor’s marketing education, master’s adult education and doctorate in curriculum instruction.

Research shows students, parents, teachers and the school benefit from parents serving as volunteers in the classroom. Discover how everyone benefits from parental involvement.

Parents in the Classroom

Parents can be instrumental in the classroom in many ways. Some parent volunteering tasks include assisting with technology, tutoring, co-teaching an area of expertise, and providing career awareness information. The parent volunteer experience mutually benefits the volunteer's child, other students in the class, the teacher, and the school. These benefits are too significant not to take into account, and many classrooms could improve with additional parent volunteers in their midst.

Assume you are an elementary teacher and you notice several other teachers have parent volunteers in the classroom. You ask one of the teachers for suggestions on how to get parent involvement. She suggests that you attend the open house parent-teacher conference to hear the principal's presentation in which, in an effort to recruit parent volunteers, identifies all of the parties that stand to gain from parent volunteerism in the classroom.

How the Parent's Child Benefits

At the open house, the principal discusses the impact volunteerism has on the children of parents who volunteer. She tells parents that research shows that children can benefit from active parent involvement in their classrooms. She indicates that parent involvement increases student achievement, including higher test scores and grades, as well as promotes positive self-esteem and behavior. It also impacts attendance and improves graduation success.

One young student in the audience raises her hand and says she is so happy whenever her mother goes to her class to read story. It makes her smile when her friends tell her that her mother is helpful. Then a teenage boy tells the crowd about a time when his dad, who is a chemist, volunteered to teach a lesson to his high school chemistry class. His dad even arranged for the class to take a tour of his company's facilities. On the tour, the students talked to several employees and learned that they could be great chemists.

How Classmates Benefit

Next, the principal explains how classmates benefit. She tells a story about a male volunteer who assisted with a reading group made up of students that did not include his daughter. That father became a positive role model for a couple of children in the group who lived in homes without a male figure. The children looked forward to working with him every week and their reading levels improved.

The principal gives another example of how a father, an electrician, worked with students in a science class to do a hands-on activity. The students learn about electricity and became aware of the electrician occupation.

The principal explains that volunteerism in the classroom develops role model relationships, as well as exposes students to cultural diversity when parents from various cultural backgrounds volunteer. It also creates opportunities for communication between children and other adults. Additionally, teachers are able to work one-on-one with students having difficulties. What's more, volunteerism in the classroom also broadens career awareness and real world connections to the curriculum, since parents are employed in different occupations.

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