The (Unexpected) Rewards of Being a Classroom Volunteer

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When we enrolled our son in Kindergarten last year, we learned that our school has a “Service Hours” requirement. I knew I would volunteer for a classroom activity to serve some of these hours. My mom was a Stay at Home Mom, and I remember being happy when she was there for our holiday parties. I assumed it would be worth taking a couple hours off work in order to do the same for my kids.

Every child has the opportunity to be Star of the Week. One of the perks to being Star of the Week meant inviting a guest reader to the classroom. Of course I would volunteer for this! I also signed up for the Valentine’s Day classroom party. I chose this one because it was an afternoon party so it was easiest to just leave work a little early that day.

Nothing prepared me for T.J.’s reaction to me walking into that classroom, both times. Pure joy. Pure excitement. And he could not wait to introduce me to his classmates. What had I done that was so special? Apparently, just being me!

In that moment, I truly saw that no matter what mistakes I thought I may have made as a parent, he did not see them. He only saw me. His mom. Nothing mattered more to him than me just being his mom.

A photo of the contributor as a guest reader in her son's Kindergarten classroom.

With volunteering in the classroom, you are able to see your child in their element. You can start putting faces to names of this friends he talks about. Also, you can see that he is happy and comfortable in his classroom and school. Parents will always wonder what their child is like at school. Volunteering in the classroom gives you a little glimpse into that.

We are gearing up for First Grade now. We purchased all the supplies and all the clothes are clean and hanging. Now I am just waiting on the letters sent home looking for Classroom Volunteers. Will you chose to be a Classroom Volunteer this year?

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Amanda is a 32-year-old Pittsburgh native who ventured from living along the Allegheny River as a child to crossing the rivers and now living along the Monongahela River with her husband (Tom) and two boys (T.J. age 5 & Joey age 1). She is a Journalism graduate of Point Park University (2008) and has been working as a Marketing/Business Development professional in the Engineering Industry since. “Family First” is the Mihailoff motto so Amanda likes to focus on providing fun experiences and (too many) toys for the kids all while supporting her husband’s dream of coaching high school football. Between a fulltime career, kids’ and their activities and homework, and Tom’s full plate, Amanda is always on the go but with a smile and laughter. Life gets crazy but it’s the journey through it that matters! Free time does eventually roll around for Amanda. That’s when you will find her trying new recipes, using a new home workout, golfing, going for coffee with a friend, watching movies, or scrolling Facebook (and not afraid to admit it).