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Truth About Volunteering at School

The Truth About Volunteering at Your Children's School

Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post about school volunteering.

The day my first child entered kindergarten, as less callous parents wept all around me at the bittersweet rite of passage, I was celebrating the freedom that came with six whole hours during which I didn't need to worry about childcare.

But the second day of school, my daughter's teacher sent an email subtly suggesting that I allot a big chunk of that child-free time to volunteering in the classroom. I pretended I didn't understand English.


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Then we decided to send both of our kids to a new school, a fancy private school that costs a whole bunch of dollars — dollars we have to earn by, you know, working during working hours. The teachers kicked off the year by handing out a volunteering form.

My own kids turned against me, telling me that so-and-so's mom is always there on Tuesdays. Mom, why can't you be there on Tuesdays, too?

Lo, the guilt!

I volunteered to help with the science fair. It went as you might imagine.

Still, I didn't learn my lesson. I agreed to drive five second-graders to a museum 90 miles away and supervise these children during the six-hour field trip. All the way home, one of the kids decided it would be hilarious to unbuckle her seat belt.

At that moment, I came to a realization

Volunteering isn't a requirement. My mom never volunteered, and I didn't turn out to be an axe murderer. I vowed that the next time a teacher asked me to work in their classroom, I would politely but firmly decline.

This week, I got an email from my son's kindergarten teacher asking if I would be able to spare some time in the new year to help out during reading.

So, of course, I said yes.

More great reads from BabyCenter:
If You Tell Your Kids Santa Stories, Are You Lying to Them?
Did Kim Kardashian Wax Baby North's Eyebrows?
How Much TV Should Kids Really Watch?
9 Great Reads For Christmas Eve

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