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Old 08-22-2005, 04:45 PM
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Room Mother

I think I just became my son's classes room mother by default. I've never done this before and have no idea what I've gotten myself into. Can anybody give me any advice, tips, etc? Thanks.
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Old 08-22-2005, 09:01 PM
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When I was a room mother in Pa., we helped out with the room parties, and other events like making hot chocolate for the kids after they sang Christmas carols in the park. It was a small school so it wasnt too involved. We also went on field trips with the class and helped with classroom crafts and stuff like that if the teacher needed help.

My son's open house is tonight (Tuesday) and Im hoping to sign up to become a class volunteer and also the PTO. I'll let you know more tomorrow night.


Is there a "leader" over all of the mothers? Maybe you could ask her or last year's room mother would probably have some good tips. Ask the teacher too.

Have fun!
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Old 08-23-2005, 05:58 PM
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Thanks. I'm sure there is a head person, I'm just not sure who that is. I'll just have to ask around. I'm sure it will be fun, just the uncertainty of it all. I hope the teacher lets me know what she wants and doesn't just assume I know or have been told. I don't want to get off to a bad start.
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Old 08-26-2005, 02:29 PM
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Pinkie Winky

My boys are now in high school, but I did the room mom thing all through the elementary school years. Don't fret - it's not that bad! The main thing you have to do is to solicit help. You can't do the room parties alone. Have the teacher send a typed, photocopied note home with all the kids, asking for volunteer room moms. You can even volunteer to be the "head" room mom or the coordinator; whatever you want to call yourself. Once the room moms are established, you should meet with the other room moms (we used to meet for coffee or for lunch at McDonalds if you have little ones) to plan the room parties: what kind of food you're going to have; who's going to bring it; what drinks to serve (usually no caffeinated beverages!); what games you're going to play; how much money to collect from parents in order to pay for all of this, etc. The teacher is probably an old pro at this too (considering he/she isn't a new teacher!) and can give you plenty of ideas.

Good luck!
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Old 08-26-2005, 03:55 PM
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Room Mom

I've been a room mom several times with my two sons. For the last two years in addition to being a room mom I volunteer to help at school. I make copies, laminate, make booklets, check reading logs, etc. The main thing I've found over the years is that the teacher is looking for someone to help with parties or field trips. For parties I am the contact person on the sheet that goes home from school with the kids to sign up for food or goodies. This way the teacher doesn't end up with 6 bags of chips and no drinks. My sons' different teachers have needed parent chaperons for field trips. This is usually a once or twice a year happening.
Don't worry about too much. I just ask a new teacher what she needs me to do and then do my best to fulfill her requests.
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Old 08-26-2005, 04:04 PM
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When my boys started school, I expected to help in their rooms. When Brian was in Kindergarten, I did indeed go in once a week and read to the children, or hear them read to me, or we did little letter activities at center time (like making "O" shaped pbj sandwiches ). The next year was a little harder, as I had two kids in school and I was still working nights, so I did Brian's class one day and Benjamin's class the next. Brian's teacher always had something for me to do...mostly helping the kids through the AR books and quizzes. She said that really helped them get a lot of it done, and many kids got their reading medals at the end of the year. That made me feel good. In Benjamin's class, the teacher rarely had anything for me to do, and I felt strange "just sitting there" once a week, but I went for Ben.

It seemed people were much more willing to help when a teacher asked them, but getting folks to be involved with the PTA was a b*tch. We did most of the activities with three board members and that was about it.

I commend y'all for wanting to be involved with your childrens' education. Two thumbs WAY up! :D
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Old 08-26-2005, 06:16 PM
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I was room mom for my kids too in elementary school...but now, with my youngest three, they don't do that anymore. I did pretty much what the others have posted, except for volunteering a lot. I had twin babies at home and couldn't take them with me into the classroom (& couldn't afford sitters).

It was difficult at times when you couldn't find people who wanted to help with the parties, people who hung up on you and/or didn't send in what they said they would, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. It let whichever child I was room mother for know that he was important to me. I got to know their friends and sometimes the moms of the friends.

Once the twins got into school, I went back myself to change my vocation from computer programmer to childcare educator.
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Old 08-26-2005, 06:40 PM
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I found myself in the same position. Dd2 is finally in k-garten. One plus (I've heard from friends) is that the more you get to know the teachers the more info they give you. Ususally at her school, teacher assignments are handed out in June for the next yr. Being a room mom I may have a little input on which teacher she gets next year There is one teacher to be avoided at all costs, even the principal doesn't like her but she has seniority...
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Old 08-27-2005, 06:48 AM
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I was room Mom and basically your duties are what the others described. We had a person who was over all the room Moms in the whole school. She handed out packets detailing what we did. We planned and coordinated the parties, and helped with the boxtop for education coupons. It was fun.
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Old 08-28-2005, 04:29 PM
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Hi! I've been a room parent with all five of my kids while they were in elementary. One of the first things you should do is talk to your childs teacher and see what kinds of parties she supports. We had one teacher who didn't like to let the kids celebrate birthdays during the year and wasn't very congenially about celebrating the holidays.

But, being a room parent was aslways fun for me. Our school usuallly had a fall or Halloween party and a Valentine's party. And some of the teacher's did small celebrations when the kids would complete a large group project. Most teacher will let the kids bring in a treat/snack of some kind for their birthdays.

As for the parties;
I always had the teacher send out a note from me a couple of weeks before the date of the party being planned. Then have the parents volunteer to donate the things we needed for the parties.
Such as:
Cups, plates, napkins, and drinks, plastic silverware if needed.
A section was divided for the foods; cookies, cupcakes, vegetable trays/ cheese trays, dips, chips, crackers, drinks, nachos and cheese, mini pizzas,or finger foods such as fruits, jello jigglers and candy or ice cream. This is just some ideas for food you might want.
Another section on the note asked for parents who could come and help at the party with setting up or cleaning up, or with games and costumes if needed. Then at the bottom have a place for the parents name and phone number and the best time to call them.
Then after the slips came back to the teacher I would collect them and call the parents to confirm that waht the paper said is what they were willing to do and to let them know what time when we had to have the things at school by. This also gives you the opportunity to ask for other supplies or food if you have too much of one thing and not enough of another.

I hope that this helps you with the question you asked. Don't worry about it too much just relax and have fun. Not all parents are always willing to help. But by sending out the form you will so come to find out which parents are the most interested in helping with the class.
I found that the teachers I worked with did their own asking for volunteers to help and go with the class on field trips.
Vicky
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