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Old 09-26-2013, 06:06 AM
 
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I volunteered quite a bit when my youngest was in elementary school but I never went in when I didn't have a specific job to do or a place to go. Our schools then and especially now, are pretty darn strict about volunteers and there really isn't wandering, let alone stalking, allowed. As for being bored or not having a real life that never crossed my mind either. I have to say that helping out at the school was always preferable to cleaning the house! For many of us that were raised in a household that routinely volunteered, it's just something that was inbred. Good people that can afford the time volunteer because it's the right thing to do.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:13 AM
 
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Amen, sister, schools don't allow the parents to wander aimlessly around. I am the room mother for my daughter's class. I'm basically there every day because someone on my volunteer list has had a conflict. That means I'm bringing the snack, helping w/ one-on-one reading in the hallway, organizing a class party, bringing a special birthday treat to the teacher, helping w/ an art project for the school auction. Sometimes I volunteer in other classes if they are short-handed etc. I rarely interact w/ my own kid during the day, and she is good about it if I have to. I have plenty I could be doing, believe me! But since I was asked to be the room mother, I take it as part of my job as a stay-at-home mom.

How condescending to say that that is helicoptering, being bored, etc. I have known several women who have gone from volunteer to paid employment at the school because, through volunteering, they found a new talent and area of interest. Isn't that how people learn, grow, discover, and contribute to the community?

I think the teachers and staff are appreciative and I've never seen the volunteers trying to interfere w/ what the teachers are doing etc. The teachers ASK for us. They have sign up sheets for what we are to do/when/where.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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I did a lot of volunteering at school when my kids were in elementary school. I did enjoy it and was rather sad that there weren't more opportunities in middle school. Come high school, there were sports activities to volunteer for.

Certainly in my kids' schools, there were some parents who were "always" there. Sometimes we other moms did gossip about some of these people, not that I'm proud of it. Sometimes a specific field trip, etc would yield more volunteers than could be utilized. As the kids got older, more and more moms went back to work, or got involved with activities of their other kids, and so forth.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:37 AM
 
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I did things a little differently. I did not volunteer at school much when my kids were in elementary school except for one day a week in the lunch room. I did volunteer significantly in the community during this time. Now that my kids are in high school, things have shifted to mostly using my volunteer hours at school. I am certainly not there daily, but do a lot of things behind the scenes that I can do from home. I am also on four school committees, and am the team mom for several varsity sports teams. I have been offered employment, so this would lead me to believe they are happy to have me around.

Except for the sports, none of what I do results in contact with my kids unless I happen to run into them while taking care of duties. I am not in the classroom.
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:31 PM
 
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My cousin volunteers a her sons (twins) high school twice a week. I would say she does it because she is bored and doesn't have a life of her own. She meddles in her kids business and has even become FB friends with other students. Very inappropriate and her sons let her know that they don't appreciate her behavior.

She "works" in the main office and it's pretty much her only outlet since she doesn't have many friends of her own.
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Alabama!
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When my kids were school age, there always seemed to be a couple of moms who were always around. Sometimes they were temporary SAHM who were headed back to the workforce in a few years.

Sometimes they were women who really loved children but didn't have the education to become teachers.

Sometimes they were helicopter moms. The teachers and staff were always good at finding them volunteer tasks AWAY from their child's classroom.
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:57 PM
 
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I've asked the same question. At a previous school, there were several of us parents who quit volunteering because of the PTO moms. These ladies would show up with their kids in the morning and still be there in the afternoon at pickup time. There was a lot of inappropriate gossip, confidential information that perhaps wasn't kept confidential enough, parents trying to show off their "wealth", and moms who seemed to live vicariously through their kids. It was the mean girls club.
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:53 PM
 
16,270 posts, read 7,153,376 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twoincomes View Post
Maybe I asked the wrong question. I value the work that volunteers do.

I'm wondering - have you ever ran into a parent who was a volunteer that you really wished wouldn't volunteer at the school? THe kind that isn't there to contribute but to follow their kids around and more gets in the way than helps out?
I know at my kids' school there are certain volunteers that are there for EVERYTHING. I used to think they had nothing else to do, but after getting to know them I realized that there are a FEW who volunteer and a WHOLE LOT who don't have time or don't want to do it. The ones you see all the time are called by the volunteer coordinator for every event because they're reliable (and have trouble saying no).

I don't know about other areas, but our school district will not allow a parent to go into the classrooms except for specific reasons (i.e., reading, class party, Junior Achievement lessons, etc.). Volunteers are not able to hover around their children.
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Middle America
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlJan View Post
I have known several women who have gone from volunteer to paid employment at the school because, through volunteering, they found a new talent and area of interest.
Yep, my mom went from volunteer to special education para, and has worked for the district for twenty years. Started out with volunteering as a room mother and field trip chaperone (back when they still had field trips).
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
18,880 posts, read 19,833,350 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twoincomes View Post
Maybe I asked the wrong question. I value the work that volunteers do.

I'm wondering - have you ever ran into a parent who was a volunteer that you really wished wouldn't volunteer at the school? THe kind that isn't there to contribute but to follow their kids around and more gets in the way than helps out?
My elementary school had such a big problem with a few parents that they had to start a very strict policy of parents NOT being allowed in the building in the morning (ie. they couldn't walk their children to their classrooms). It was odd because it was only a small group of 5 or 6 parents in the beginning (4K age) and it grow to about 8 to 10 parents by the time that their children were in 1st grade. These parents would walk their 1st graders to the room, help them off with their jackets, unpack their child's school bag, turn in their child's library books, read the notes and the blackboard and write the assignments/notes in their child's assignment notebooks. These were all things that the 1st graders were supposed to be doing themselves.
This group of parents would stand around in the hallway AND in the classroom and chat with each other while the teacher was trying to get the class started each day. It was a real nightmare.

Luckily, this was a very unusual situation. Most parents and volunteers are helpful and not disruptive.

BTW Some of the schools in my district do not allow parents to volunteer in own child's classroom. They can volunteer in other classrooms, or in the library, do small group tutoring/reading groups, volunteer on fieldtrips and volunteer for classroom parties or special activities. That rule was put into place because some parents were causing problems with violating confidentiality or were openly favoring their child while they were doing classroom activities.

Last edited by germaine2626; 09-26-2013 at 04:53 PM..
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