Room Parent FAQ
Q: What does the term “Room Parent” really mean?
A: The Room Parent is any parent, grandparent, guardian, etc. willing to serve as the liaison between the PTO, teacher, and your classroom's parents. You will be asked to coordinate parties, classroom assistance and other activities throughout the year, according to your teacher needs. You will also coordinate your classroom’s teacher appreciation throughout the year (usually birthday, holiday gift, and Teacher Appreciation Week in February).
Q: Isn’t that a lot of work for one person?
A: Not if you know how to delegate! Collect contact information for all parents from your teacher or at Open House and use this list to ask for help! If you know a parent whose child is also in the class, ask them to work with you as a Co-Room Parent or solicit one from your list. It can be a great opportunity for a parent with a flexible daytime schedule to partner with a working parent who may have a less flexible schedule for volunteering in the classroom but would enjoy emailing and organizing from home.
Q: How do I know what to ask for?
A: You will work closely with the teacher to find out what the needs will be for the year and what his/her expectations are. We will also be emailing you important information from the PTO that we will need you to distribute to your contact list.
Q: What information do I need from the parents?
A: Their name, their child's name, an email address, and a phone number. If you don't catch everyone at Open House, you can also ask your teacher to send your contact information out in an email or notice home with a request for folks to send you their information. Also try to learn of any food allergies in the classroom before any events involving food have taken place.
Q: What do I do first?
A: Three things: (1) Talk to your Teacher about their needs; (2) compile your Class List (described above) at the Open House or as soon as possible after it; (3) send out a welcome email to the room families identifying yourself and letting them know you will be looking for their help throughout the year.
Q: Are there other things I might be responsible for?
A: Yes, as the connection to your teacher and classroom families, you may be asked to help us coordinate help for events that we hold during the course of the year.
Q: What is expected for teacher appreciation?
A: How your class shows appreciation for your teacher is up to you and the parents in your class. Typically, you want to recognize your teacher at the holidays, his/her birthday and during teacher appreciation week in May. You could send an email survey to the class about whether they would prefer to do class gifts or individual gifts, but generally class gifts are preferred by parents. You could also collect donations of $10-20 per child at the first of the year to use as a budget for the whole year or have the parents donate $3-5 each time. Don’t be discouraged if not everyone donates. Work with what you have! We will provide you with a “favorite things” list from your teacher that can be a great source of inspiration. Examples of teacher appreciation gifts include gift cards, a coffee and muffin brought in for breakfast, flowers or balloons, hand written cards, books/supplies for the classroom, or anything else you think would make your teacher feel special and appreciated.