Being Head Class Parent Jen and John Speak

Being Head Class Parent

My most impressive 100% fruit juice gelatin jigglers from last year's class Halloween party

Last year John and I signed up as usual to be class parents, leaving the “Head class parent” box unchecked. We figured someone else would be much better suited for THAT role, and we were very happy to be worker-bees. Then we got the email that NO ONE had signed up for head. We looked at each other and figured that if we did it together, we could pull it off. So we signed up, and wound up having a great time doing it.

So this year, we checked the box for all 3 of our kids. And got put in charge of 2 of the classes!

As I am putting together stuff for this year, I am realizing that I’ve developed a pretty strong philosophy on being head class parent. Some of it has been learned by doing the job. And some of it has been learned by being the worker-bee, and not having all the info I needed.

See what you think of my list:

  • Agendas make meetings run better. Nothing is worse than sitting at a class parent meeting and people are just rambling on without a goal in mind. Maybe it’s because I’m a working parent, but I want to get in, get the job done, and move on. With a written agenda that is handed to everyone, they not only have a place to keep notes, but you also can keep folks focused on what needs to get done, and make sure all topics are covered.
  • Lists and charts help everyone. I put together a spreadsheet with what is needed for each class party we organize, with slots for people to sign up for activities, food, etc. Then I don’t have to remember what everyone said when we get home from the meeting. It’s all written down.
  • Parties need agendas too. Far too often as a worker-bee, I showed up at a class party to help, and had no idea who was supposed to do what, when. So we create a 1-sheeter for each party that lists who will be there, who is bringing what, how long the party lasts, what time to show up to set up, and a list of each activity. Next to each activity, there is the name of who is in charge, and the time frame that activity is supposed to last. And we bring a copy for all the parents volunteering at the party. That way you avoid the “What are we supposed to do now?” issue that leaves kids bouncing off the walls.
  • Include everyone. We always make sure that every class parent is invited to all the meetings, and has a copy of the lists, charts, and agendas. That way everyone has access to the information they need to do their part. It just makes it less stressful for everyone.

Do you serve as a class parent in your child’s classroom? What have you learned along the way? Would love to read your tips and advice in the comments!

  • Amy Haarbrink

    All I can say is… awesome job!  And be prepared for being asked EVERY year to be the Head Class Parents.  You have set a precedent that will be hard to follow.  Or… start your parent training program right away.  lol

  • Lisa

    One of the reasons I won’t sign up as head class parent is because even that role is not well defined- each teacher defines it differently and therefore it makes it incredibly difficult to know what is required/requested of the job.  If you ran the parent training program, I would consider it….!!

  • Jennifer

    I am not a parent but I’ve been in enough situations where this type of leadership and organization was lacking. The quickest way to lose volunteers is for them to feel as though their time could be better spent elsewhere. Great job!

    One tip–You may want to email the documents you’ve created to your child’s teachers so they can give them to future head class parents. In fact, go ahead and send them to the principal so it can be shared throughout the building.

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