The dos and don’ts of being an A+ room mom
Written by Sandy Franks, Parke House Academy room mom and mother to Parker (11) and Paige(6).
If your kid is in school long enough, you’ve surely encountered the overachieving, overbearing room mom. She may get things done but with a lot of collateral damage. Don’t be that mom! It is possible to be a productive room mom while making friends with the other parents and teachers.
Being a room mom is a big job. The reward is being able to spend more time with your kids and be a bigger part of their educational experience. It is also a great way to get to know other parents. Even if you are shy, as a room mom it can help break the ice and get to know people. Here are Sandy’s tips:
- Respect. Before making any final plans, always discuss everything with the teacher. This is her class, and she or he will have the final say. Some teachers don’t mind extravagant parties, but some do. Respect the teacher at all times. The teachers really appreciate all you do, because they know that this is a big job.
- Listen. While you’re at it, respect and listen to the other parents. Don’t take every project on yourself then complain that no one will help you. And, don’t try to dictate what the class will do and when for the events. This is a team effort, and your job is to organize the team. On the other hand, you may have to remind parents that you expect them to help —you are the orchestrator, not a one-man show. The more you get to know the other moms, the stronger the bond of the whole class will be.
- Ring a ding. Get a phone list out to the parents via email and hard copy as soon as you can. Save it as a PDF file and keep it accessible. You’ll be asked for it over and over again, even after you’ve laminated it and given everyone a copy.
- Mom’s night out. Plan a mom’s night out or a morning meeting within the first three to four weeks of school. Get to know the moms and find out who can help you. Some parents just like to write checks, some like to bake, some like to decorate. If your school has an auction or fundraiser, this is the time to discuss expectations of the class.
- Click and save. Start a photo-sharing site on Shutterfly. This is a great way for parents to share pictures of the kids that were taken on field trips, at the bus stop and doing classroom activities. Be sure to make the site private with passwords. It’s also cute if you personalize the site for your class. Choose a site from which you can make scrapbooks. At the end of the year, you’ll be thankful that you did as those scrapbooks will be easy peasy.
Sometimes one great room mom can really make the difference in a class!