Is there such thing as too much volunteer time at your kids school?

Maria Ines - posted on 02/14/2014 ( 3 moms have responded )




As disclaimer for my grammar, English is my second language so bare with me ;-)

My son’s classroom was having a Valentine’s Breakfast today and I have volunteered for Fruit Salad. So I made the salad and went the extra mile, by making Chocolate Covered Strawberries in bamboo sticks, I thought it was awesome for the kids.

This morning we arrived to school early to drop off the strawberries along with the fruit salad, on our way in, we stopped by the front desk and my son hands out the cards and chocolate for the adm. staff, we run into his teacher and he couldn’t wait to give her the card and chocolates, so he did it right in there.The teacher and staff saw me with the big platter and did not say anything, so I continued my way to the classroom.

I know that parents are not allowed in the classroom without an appointment, but In previous events when I’ve volunteered, (which I do in every event) I have always asked how to proceed and my son’s teacher tells me, “just bring it to the classroom”. Well, this time I did not ask, knowing that it was ok for me to drop it off in the classroom, or so I thought, besides there was no way my son will be able to carry that big tray inside without help.

I get into the Classroom, and the T.A. is busy, so I just stand in there waiting for her to tell me where to place the tray. While waiting (about 3 minutes) his teacher and the school receptionist walk into the classroom and the receptionist tells me:
Mrs. I have to ask you to leave, you know parents are not allowed in the classroom, only volunteers.
I did not understand why was she asking me to leave, since I have volunteer for this event. So I said: I’ve volunteered for the fruit salad and I’m waiting for instructions on where to place it.
And she says: Oh, you can just leave anywhere and then leave.
She didn’t say thank you for contribution, or any kind word to make the situation a bit less awkward.

So I said, ok and I left.

My son’s teacher was right there pretending she has nothing to do with any of this, I felt terrible, I spend precious time making that salad and the chocolate covered strawberries, and I was so happy to do it, but now I am disappointed.

I didn’t know what to do or say, I know I do not deserve that kind of treatment and mostly, they did not deserved my delicious CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES! LOL! I even thought about taking them with me, but then I thought about the kids and how excited they were with the strawberries, that it wouldn’t be right for them to do that.

Is this rudeness common standards in public/charter schools? This is our first year in this school so I’m just getting to know it.

I constantly hear complains from public/charter schools about not having enough parents involved in the school activities, but if this is what happen when you volunteer too much, I don’t blame those parents that don’t want to participate.

Any thoughts about it? Should I write a letter to the Principal (who was actually there at the front desk when we arrived and also received one of my son’s Valentines’ Bags) expressing my disappointment?

I would appreciate your comments.



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Maria Ines - posted on 02/15/2014




Thank you Shawnn and Jodi, and yes I was supposed to check in at the front desk but since there was such a big commotion there I didn't even think about it.
Thank you for making me realized that I did not follow the procedure and got too comfortable in the school, since I am there for every single event.

Jodi - posted on 02/14/2014




I'd check on the procedure. I know that at our schools, we have to sign in at the front office and collect a "volunteer" badge before we can be in classrooms. (In fact, we have to have a Working With Vulnerable People card, which requires full police checks, before we are allowed to work with children at all). You may want to check if there is an actual correct procedure.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/14/2014




Perhaps it was merely a case of misunderstanding. Since you didn't 'officially' check in at the school office (which is a very normal, standard procedure at elementary schools), and that is their policy, they felt that asking you to leave was appropriate.

Start with the teacher, explain your concern, and your confusion.

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