So you have been picked to be the room mom...now what?
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Organize yourself! 

Hopefully the school will have a room parent meeting to kick off the school year. During that meeting, you may be given some of the hints used by room moms at that school to stay organized and ahead of the game. 

One of the first things I tell the room parents at our school is to plan on delegating!  You cannot do it alone.  Ask the teacher for a meeting and find out:

  1. what parties she/he would like to have during the school year (Fall or Halloween, Winter or Christmas, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Spring or Easter, and an End of Year Event
  2. are there any other events that she/he may need help from class parents (help kids with reading or math, help the teacher grade papers...). If you are the room parent for a kindergarten or 5th grade (elementary moving to middle school) class, check to see if the teacher has planned a larger (graduation style) end of year party that might require additional funding
  3. does the teacher want to be involved in the party planning or is she/he comfortable with you doing that
  4. will the PTO/PTA have any fundraising events that the room parent will be asked to support
  5. find out if there are any allergies in the class that would be a problem if snacks were brought into the party
  6. ask the teacher for her/his birthday so that you can plan a small celebration with the children
  7. ask the teacher for the class roster, including phone numbers and email addresses for all the parents
  8. find out what the class party rules are like can volunteers bring younger siblings
  9. did the teacher request any items at the open house (at the start of school) that she/he did not recieve?  Would she/he like to room parent to try to get these items donated to the class?

 

Next find your volunteers!

Now that you have a list of what your teacher would like, look for class parents to help.  You make want two parents to work on the class parties, two parents to work on finding the classroom helpers (help for the teacher with reading, math, projects), two parents to work on the PTO/PTA functions and so on.  Your job as room parent is to make sure all the parent volunteers are happy and have the support they need and that the teacher has all the support she/he needs!

Using the phone numbers and email addresses of the class parents, get in touch with them and ask for helpers.  I always send a letter at the start of a new year to all the parents, introducing myself as the room parent, giving them my contact information, asking for help in the room and asking for a class donation.  Some room parents ask for donations for each event.  I found that the parents feel that all we do is ask for money, so I set a budget for the year, based on the information the teacher gave me (5 parties, 25 kids in the room may be a donation of $30 per child for the year) and ask the parents for a one-time donation.  I let the parents know if this donation covers an end of year gift for the teacher or not (so they know if I will be asking for that donation at the end of the school year).

Make a list of what kind of help the parents can offer (can they head up the party committee or can they donate supplies).  Meet with all the parent volunteers that are able to head committees or can be on committees and review what you have learned  from the teacher (the parties she/he wants to have, the food allergies and all other information that the parents may need in order to best do their jobs.

Purchasing supplies for the parties can get costly.  There are online bulk party supply companies that offer very good prices.  By planning which parties your teacher would like to have for the school year, you can preorder all the party supplies (most times avoiding shipping charges - shipping is often free at Oriental Trading online for orders over $60).

Make sure to mark you calendars, not only with the event dates, but with the "task" dates - in other words, the Valentine Party is February 14th but the task of ordering the valentine cake may be February 12th.

Send monthly notes to the class parents, reminding them of important dates for that month or about jobs they have agreed to do.  The room mom should send these notes - so make sure you talk to your committee heads to see if there is anything they need to include in the note.  MAKE SURE TO INCLUDE THE TEACHER ON THE NOTE DISTRIBUTION LIST!!

Then have fun and enjoy the school year!

 

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