6 Questions to Ask Before You Say Yes to Being a Class Parent

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  • 01 of 07

    Know What Being a Class Parent Really Means

    Room parent

    Ever been asked to be a class parent at school? It can be a tough decision—you want to help, but class parents can have a big responsibility.

    When it comes to volunteering at school, work-at-home mothers often end up doing a lot of it. Teachers, other parents and your kids may assume that have time to come to daytime programs at school or run volunteer events. But not every work-at-home mom has a flexible schedule or works part-time. So learning to say “no” is an important part of attaining...MORE work/life balance for all parents.

    On the other hand, there are times when we do want to say yes. So if you are mulling becoming a class parent, here are 5 questions to ask.

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  • 02 of 07

    What does the job of class parent actually involve?

    Room Parent at School With Kids

    Ask the teacher (and/or the person recruiting you for the position) what a class parent does throughout the course of the school year. (Be sure you get a whole year picture because often jobs to do in the spring aren't top of mind in the fall.) Some schools may have a written job description for room parents. Regardless of the job description, some teachers may want a lot of help or very little, so speaking to the teacher is essential.

    Ask for the names of other class parents (or call last...MORE year’s class parent) in order to get an idea of the amount of time involved in being a class parent. Read this article What Does a Room Parent Do? to get an idea of all the possible the duties of class parents.

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  • 03 of 07

    Would I have the help of other parents?

    Class parent
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    If you can enlist the help of other parents, this can make the job of class parent much more manageable. Perhaps you could have a co-room parent who makes phone calls while you plan events or vice versa. Also keep in mind that these days we don’t call it “room mother” anymore. Dad can help too. Make it a family volunteer commitment and divide the duties.

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  • 04 of 07

    Do I have the time to do the job of class parent well?

    Work at home mom

    Before making any volunteer commitment, make honest assessments as to whether you have the time and personality to be a good class parent. Consider not only how much time you have but when you are available. If a room parent at your child’s school is expected to be at school during the day frequently and your job doesn’t allow that kind of flexibility, this may not be the job for you. On the flip side, if the job is essentially making phone calls in the evening and that’s when you work, maybe...MORE look for another way to help.

    Think about your work schedule. Will it change or become busier during a certain season? Also factor in time commitments for other children’s school activities.

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  • 05 of 07

    What would my child think?

    Room parent
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    Would your child l love you to be a room parent or would it be a source of endless embarrassment? If your child would like you to be a room parent, this is a reason to consider it. However, you may still have to say no, if your time doesn’t allow it.

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  • 06 of 07

    Could I help in some other way?

    Room mother
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    If you do decide that you cannot take on the responsibility, but want to help, offer the teacher or the room parent other types of volunteer help. You could offer to plan a single event for the class or cut or copy work for the teacher from home. Simply because you can’t make the larger commitment of room parent doesn’t mean you can’t be involved in your child’s class.

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  • 07 of 07

    Will I be on the hook to do it again next year?

    Parents at school
    Getty/Daniel Grill

    Let's be honest, the same people so often get tapped again and again for volunteer jobs. Is that the pattern at your child's school? If so will you have the willpower to say no next year if that is what you need but there are no other volunteers willing to step forward? Keep this in mind before you ever say yes.