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Parental Involvement at School

Mommy Dearest: Working Mom Wants to Help at School

Mommy Dearest,

My son is entering a new school for kindergarten and we have received several notices about the school's parent teacher association. I would love to be one of those mothers who organizes the bake sales and volunteers in class, but I work full time. All of the PTA meetings are held during business hours (immediately after drop-off or before pick-up) and after speaking with the president of the organization, it sounds like that is when the committees meet as well.

I don't want the school or other parents to think that I don't care, but I just don't see how I can become involved. How do you ensure that your child isn't penalized by your lack of participation in school events?

– Non-PTA Mommy

To see the response from Mommy Dearest,


Non-PTA Mommy,

There are a lot of moms in your situation. Perhaps you can speak with the president of the organization and ask about switching a few of the meetings to the evening or join a committee made up of fellow working moms who can get together after they leave the office. If none already exist, start one. Another option would be to set aside some vacation hours to volunteer in your son's classroom or be available to participate in activities that are important to him. Many schools also have weekend events that provide the perfect opportunity for career parents to get involved.


– Mommy Dearest

Submit a question for this feature at the Mommy Dearest Group on our new Community page.

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Join The Conversation
lickety-split lickety-split 7 years
don't about what the other parents think of you. in this economy i doubt you are the only working mother. maybe after your child is at the school for awhile you could pick one committee to join and go in late to work on that day, or listen in by phone. honestly, one of the schools we looked at limited the number of parents that could be involved in different activities because ALL of the parents thought they should be at EVERY event. so it's not necessarily a negative thing that you won't be jumping right in :)
kmckay kmckay 7 years
I agree with the 1st poster... as a teacher I would very much welcome a parent who was willing to do things at home if they can't be there during the day. Theres also a lot of things the PTA would like you to do outside of the school day as well.
Moms Moms 7 years
My daughter just started private school and their PTA is really accommodating. The meetings are at night and childcare and snacks for the kids are provided so more working parents can attend without shelling out for a sitter or scrambling for dinner before. Hopefully, more schools do this type of thing.
cheersdarlin916 cheersdarlin916 7 years
I also work full time and what I found with my son's school is that the teachers are so thankful for the help that they will find something for you to do even outside of the school day hours. My son's teacher sent home an envelope of assignments for me to help correct at night and then I sent them back the next day. So there will be things you can do to help. Also, there were several opportunities to help with the school carnival or distributing fundraising products which took place in the evening or on the weekend. If you let the school know you are interested in helping they will most likely take you up on it and find something for you to do. Out of the 185 kids in my sons grade there were only a handful of parents that always helped out. Not that many people find it to be worthwhile. At least at our school.
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