Tuesday, August 30, 2011

More Parent Involvement with Less Stress this Back-to-School

Online Signup Sheets by VolunteerSpot Save Time {and Sanity} 
Guest Post by Karen Bantuveris

Inviting parents to participate in the elementary classroom builds positive rapport and sets the foundation for a successful school year for all.  Parents feel involved and engaged, kids see that their parents value their education and are on the same ‘team’ as their teacher, and teachers get much needed help and an opportunity to begin natural conversations with parents about student success.

Parent participation is good, even great....right?! But one busy teacher coordinating the parents of 20-30+ kids as class helpers or for parent-teacher conferences can be a daunting and stressful proposition, even for the most seasoned teacher. On the busy parent side of the equation, juggling multiple requests from multiple teachers and school committees can seem overwhelming and cause some parents to opt-out of volunteering all together.

Skip “Reply-All” email chains and clipboards this year!

Simplify communication and make it easy for more parents to pitch-in and support your class activities with VolunteerSpot.com ‒ FREE online sign-up sheets save time and boost parent participation. Simply set the schedule of needs and invite parents to sign up with a link {on your class website or facebook page} or with an email invitation. Parents click to choose when to help or what to bring —even from their smartphones. The site keeps the signup calendar up-to-date in real time, and sends automated confirmation and reminder messages that help parents keep their commitments. Parents without email can be given assignments manually and VolunteerSpot sends you a reminder alert {so you can then call the parent or send a note home}.

Kris W., a 1st grade teacher in the Washington, DC area had this to say about VolunteerSpot, “That was so easy! I set up my class ‘table time’ schedule, sent out the link, and in 48 hours, I had the whole semester filled…like magic! The best part is, VolunteerSpot sends reminders so I don’t have to stress about parents forgetting!”

And David C. of San Jose commented on VolunteerSpot’s facebook page, “VolunteerSpot rocks- I use it to coordinate Parent Teacher conferences for my 120 7th and 8th graders!”


VolunteerSpot was designed with simplicity in mind – if you can shop online, you can use VolunteerSpot. Use it to organize anything - classroom readers and parties, parent-teacher conferences, recess and lunch volunteers, supplies and snacks, field trip chaperones, exam proctors and more. Teachers who use VolunteerSpot report that 20% more parents show up to help, more working parents participate, and most importantly, that they save up to 2 hours a week in administrative busy-work.  More parents helping are good for teachers, for parents, and for our kids!

You can take a live demo today at www.VolunteerSpot.com  and check out VolunteerSpot on Facebook – we’re giving away $500 in school supplies this back-to-school season!

Karen Bantuveris is the founder & CEO of VolunteerSpot, a time and sanity-saving online coordination tool that empowers busy teachers, parents and grassroots community leaders by making it easier get involved. Karen is passionate about helping more parents get involved at school and funding education technology. She lives in Austin, Texas with her daughter and husband. @VolunteerSpot @VSpotMom

1 comment:

  1. Really neat resource.

    Have you any experience with parental volunteers in the secondary setting? I've never had any and wondered if it took place anywhere. Thanks!