I made sure we arrived ridiculously early during open house for my son’s kindergarten. This was partially because I was nervous but also because we had a lot to do. We set about putting all the supplies where the teacher wanted them. Then, did a mountain of paperwork. Followed by our wonderful teacher speaking to the families about all the things she wanted to share. She explained (goals, curriculum, rules etc) before asking for volunteers to help with the class. Then, I made my way to the list. Only one slot left- homeroom mom.
I wanted to be involved but had no idea what was required. It never occurred to me at the time why that slot might not have been taken. I just read mom and I was in fact a mom. Boy, would I come to learn the job description quickly!
I’m sure the job description varies from school to school and classroom to classroom. But, as soon as I was contacted the first thing I was told was that I would be a link between the PTA and teacher to each family in our class. That statement alone sounded important! I would be forwarding correspondence, helping to direct parents to the right person at the school if they had questions and set up sign ups for the teacher for any class activities, parties or supplies needed. I thought I’m sure it wouldn’t be that often. Final last words before you get into the job parents!
The actual job description
Fast forward three years and three homerooms later and I have an actual description. However, it is ever changing and you need to roll with it. Here’s some bullet points with what I’ve had to do so far.
- Regularly be the liaison between parents and the school
- Craft many things with skills you never knew you possessed
- Pinterest late into the night, have a committed relationship with Amazon Prime and in my case the website SignUpGenius
- Coordinate parties, events, volunteers, supplies and lists-many many lists.
- In some cases repeat yourself often reminding other parents you need more volunteers.
- Resend emails they misplaced/forgot about/meant to respond to about what’s been sent or what’s still needed.
- Answer the same question 20 times and even send reminders not to forget so they actually don’t forget important information.
- Coordinate a week of gestures for teacher appreciation week. I love a good gift basket don’t you?
- Attend meetings, make phone calls, answer emails, and in most cases attend all class events not just as a parent but as the teachers helper.
- You will worry. Worry that your themes fit the class. Or your events will be fun for the kids. And also that you are helping the teacher in every way you can so they can concentrate on actually teaching instead of whether there is enough hand soap or glue sticks
Benefits of your role
Maybe the above has you thinking, umm no I don’t think I will be signing my name anywhere, that’s just too much! So let’s talk about what you’ll get as your on the job benefits so to speak.
If you choose to do this you will have so much insight into your child’s school experience in a way you would not have otherwise had. We are lucky as moms to hear a sentence or two when we ask the age old question how was your day. As class mom you will know how the class room works. You’ll be in communication with the teacher regularly. You’ll be in the know on what the class is learning.
You will get to know your child’s friends and classmates and their families. Many of our friendships have come about in our adopted community because we met through our children, volunteering together, attending events together and supporting the class together. For a family starting fresh in a new place this was invaluable for our kids and us! Even if you’re not new to your community it’s amazing to get to know friends your child is always mentioning and to have a relationship with other parents that are sharing your school year.
My last perk is my favorite. In these years as homeroom mom, I’ve had pictures colored of me. I’ve had the opportunity to witness the joy of learning first hand. Also, I’ve felt like I was doing something appreciated and needed. I’ve had the privilege of being in charge of giving a very deserving teacher shows of appreciation and support. And lastly have had many talks with both my children about how much they love my involvement in their experience. My daughter has even dressed up as homeroom mom holding her calendar and notebook, smile firmly in place.
Getting involved is one of the best things I’ve ever done. Even if it was by accident. It can be busy, it can be overwhelming but not thankless. I’m so glad to be in a position to send parents photos of their kids performing or on a field trip who couldn’t make it. Creating experiences for sweet groups of happy children is fulfilling. Seeing what a truly incredible teacher can do is inspiring. And most importantly watching my own children grow before my eyes is invaluable.
Our kids are only young once. Being there watching the memories being made and lesson learned is irreplaceable. As a result, I don’t believe you will have a single regret about writing your name on that open house list.
Guest Contributor Janet Richardson grew up in Indiana. She said goodbye to snow boots and hello to sandy toes when her family moved to Tampa Bay 3 years ago. Janet has been married for 8 years to her amazing British best friend and partner in crime. She is also blessed to be mom to an 8 year old philosopher and 6 year old diva. Janet is a crafting addict and CEO of the International house of Richardson (stay at home mom). She never met a beach, morning cup of coffee or Netflix mystery series she didn’t want to get to know better.