Teachers, Moms, and Kids at Heart, I need a little bit of help, please!

As many of you know, sometimes I have this deplorable habit of letting my mouth run independent of my brain. I know, that seems to be an Alex, Benjamin, Brooke, Patrick, Edward and let’s face it even Carolina trait, but apparently I do it to and I fear I might have bitten of a bit more than I can chew!

So the thing is, for some thirty seconds last week a an alien came to Earth, inhabited my body, walked up to my youngest son’s teacher and spoke the words, “I’d love to be the homeroom mom”.

Please don’t misunderstand, I love my son and love doing the chaperoning and helping and whatnot, but I have no idea how to even be a homeroom mom! Last year–and all the years my kids were in preschool–there were always these one or two moms who’d claim this “Homeroom Mom” honor before enrollment papers were filled out, so I feel very lost, considering that I agreed to the role because nobody else would.

So, here I am, laying it all out there for all the world to see, what do you (as in the teacher, the mother of the other kids in the class and of course the kids in the class) expect from me? I do know that I’ll be expected to go on all of the field trip with Mega Purse in tow loaded down with water bottles, bandaids, sunscreen, extra money, and a camera. I also know that I’ll be the one coordinating the parties for Thanksgiving, Christmas (yes, I can still say Christmas at this school!), Valentines Day and of course Teacher Appreciation week by deciding on the decorations and buying the decorations and the food. But surely there is more to it than this.

Can I delegate by calling the other moms in the class and asking them to send things or is that frowned upon? What can I do to help the teacher where she can teach the class and I can just do my duties? (By the way, my kids both had her last year and we get along really well, so I have no doubt she’ll tell me if something is or isn’t working.) What are the kids expecting from me besides the obvious that I’ll be a never-ending supply of candy and to play games on my phone on the way to field trips?

All right there you have it! I know it’s a shocker, but I, too, am human and have this thick haze of confusion where my kids are concerned. If anyone has any advice and suggestions for what I need to know or ideas for what I should do, I welcome them all!

8 thoughts on “Teachers, Moms, and Kids at Heart, I need a little bit of help, please!”

  1. Well, at our school, the room moms send out a letter early on with all the things going on for that year and you can check off what you want to help with and/or contribute to. For example, they list out all the class parties/celebrations and you can check off the holiday you want to send in a snack for or paper products. For example, I checked off I would send in a snack for the class for Valentine’s Day. They have each holiday or class party listed. They also ask that if you can, to send in a monetary donation that they use for crafts, teachers gifts, teacher appreciation week, etc. You can donate however much you want and you can even specify what it goes towards. So if I donate $100, I can say I want $25 to go to the teacher’s Christmas gift, $25 for the End of the Year party, $25 for a holiday craft and $25 for teacher appreciation week. My biggest piece of advice….let the other parents help you! Don’t do it all on your own. Because I work full time, I don’t always get to help out and this is one way I feel like I can contribute to the things going on in their classrooms.

    1. I love this! Thank you. My only “restraint”, it seems is that I cannot ask for money directly unless it’s for a field trip. At least that was the guideline I was given, which I guess I understand since they all pay tuition. So instead of just asking for money, I’ll have to ask for specifics like snacks or paper products.

      We had a meeting today and it seems my biggest obstacle will be chaperones and drivers since they’re planning field trips every time I turn around it seems.

  2. I’d just ask the teacher what she’d like.

    I don’t mind getting a phone call, but I’d rather donate money than run down to the school to help out. So if I were called, I’d like several options to choose from. Other mothers would probably rather do something than send in donations. I think the whole thing (whatever it is you’re organizing) can work best if the other mothers are given options to choose from. We all have different strengths, and mine isn’t being around kids in a school. LOL

    Other than that, I don’t know.

    1. Well, have no fear, my strength is not being around kids all day, either. But I am pretty good about organizing things. Not great at decorating though, so we’ll see how it goes.

  3. I am writing this as a room mom for 5 years and as a teacher for 18 — and I was room mom for all three kids’ classes for three years (I know, insane!): Your best friend is EXCEL spreadsheet, a clipboard, and a pen. Send a letter home (approved by teacher, of course) introducing yourself, and find out who is willing to do what (will send you sample letter via private email).

    You said

    Can I delegate by calling the other moms in the class and asking them to send things or is that frowned upon?

    YES! By sending a letter/survey early in the year, they will know what is needed, and you will know who can supply some of those needs.

    What can I do to help the teacher where she can teach the class and I can just do my duties?

    Ask her what she needs in terms of physical presence, when she needs them, for how long, and for what activity (read with, read to, reading listener, etc.)… and then send the word out to the parents and ask for volunteers — you can even delegate someone who is willing to be the one to coordinate/schedule volunteers if you’re not able to do the coordinating yourself.

    What are the kids expecting from me besides the obvious that I’ll be a never-ending supply of candy and to play games on my phone on the way to field trips?

    Kids expect you to be peacekeeper, judge and jury, snack provider, entertainer, booger wiper, blood cleaner, ripped-pants-fixer-upper…they also expect a confidante, a co-conspirator (what should we get the teacher for her birthday?), an advocate… in other words, A MOM!

    You don’t have to do it all — you just have to make sure it all gets done 😉
    If you’re having fun, the kids will have fun too. Recruit a friend to be your side-kick…if none of your friends are parents in your child’s class, make a new friend, and then recruit HER to be your side-kick.

    Room momming is NOT a do-it-yourself project — it’s a team effort. It’s your job to build the team, and lead them to victory (victory meaning you’re all still speaking to each other at the end of the year, and the teacher hasn’t resigned, AND you’ve not been asked to move to another county.)

    Have fun. Oh, and check your email in the next 8 hours 😉

    1. I am speechless! Take that as a compliment, this doesn’t happen often. Thank you so much for your invaluable advice. I got my spreadsheet all set up this afternoon and have begun my lists. I’ll be sure to check my email as I’m sure whatever you send will make my life so much easier!

  4. Looks like Rondeigh came to the rescue. None of my kids’ classrooms have ever had a Classroom Mom before, but when I was a teacher’s aide before I had children that class did have a room mother and her job pretty much entailed being in charge of all the class parties and special celebrations. She didn’t do it all, just coordinated it.
    Good luck in your endeavor this year. You are a braver mom than I.

    1. Yeah, well, I might quietly slink out next year if this one turns to crap. LOL I have a feeling I’ll walk away with a much better appreciation for what my kids’ teachers go through each day. Not that I don’t already appreciate them, I certainly do, however, I was once told dealing with the kids is hard, but sometimes dealing with the other parents is even harder! We’ll see.

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