ABCs Of Roomparenting 2

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How to use technology to make room parenting fun and easy.

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ABCs Of Roomparenting 2

  1. 1. The ABCs of Room parenting Contrary to popular belief, room parenting does NOT have to be a full-time job!
  2. 2. So what does a room parent do? <ul><li>Act as the communication liaison between the teacher and the parents </li></ul><ul><li>Organize communications – email, online group discussions, sign-up sheets </li></ul><ul><li>Work with teachers to organize holiday and special events and parties </li></ul><ul><li>Organize a phone tree for emergencies, fundraising </li></ul><ul><li>Organize volunteers for classroom activities and fieldtrips </li></ul><ul><li>Organize teacher gifts (holidays, end of year, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Collect dues and shared activities fees from parents </li></ul>
  3. 3. Does the room parent do all the work? <ul><li>Rest assured. The room parent does NOT actually do all the work (whew.. Take a deep breath) </li></ul><ul><li>The operative words are: ORGANIZE and DELEGATE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organize parents and classrooms events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delegate to other parents </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. So why don’t more people volunteer? <ul><li>MYTH : Only a few parents are interested in helping. The same parents do all the work. </li></ul><ul><li>FALSE : Almost all parents, in fact are very interested in participating in their children’s school life. The challenge is that most parents do NOT know what to do and are too busy to take the extra steps to find out </li></ul><ul><li>SOLUTION : Make it as easy as possible for parents to find the information, sign-up and help. </li></ul>
  5. 5. A) Setup an Online Group <ul><ul><li>The primary challenge is communication between teachers and parents. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Having information in a centralized place makes it easy for parents to find out what needs to be done and what is going on </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There are many online group services that offer shared calendars, shared tasks lists, event reminders, rosters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>GoogleGroups, YahooGroups, Qlubb, Centered, Convio </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Google search “online group tools” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. A common space for the classroom, parents and teachers
  7. 7. Shared calendar of events
  8. 8. A space to share useful information
  9. 9. A space to chat online
  10. 10. B) Setup an Email List <ul><ul><li>Despite the annoyance of spam and excessive emails, email is still the most common communication vehicle. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Googlegroups, Yahoogroups, and many of the online group utilities have email distribution capabilities. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Messaging on Qlubb An email distribution list for the classroom
  12. 12. C) Find out Parents’ Talents/Skills <ul><ul><li>At the open house, go around and find out the special talents of the parent community – gardening, music, woodwork, cooking, sewing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keep this info in the roster on the online group </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to tap into that talent pool throughout the year – parents love to contribute and show off their talents! </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Classroom roster page
  14. 14. Roster with ability to add allergies, skills
  15. 15. photos Mailing list opt-in Birthday info
  16. 16. D) Don’t Spam Parents <ul><ul><li>Once there is an email list and an online group site, there tends to be a desire to inform everyone of everything. REFRAIN </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Parents only plan out a 2 week window. So only send out emails/alerts with the most pressing, up-coming issues </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not send out more than one email per week. Anymore and parents tend to tune-it out and put your emails in their mental spam folder. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. E) Communicate Regularly with Teachers (use email too) <ul><ul><li>Try to meet teachers weekly to find out what events are upcoming. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use email to communicate more frequently with the teachers – some teachers prefer email as they are too busy during the day to think and communicate ideas to room parents. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Put classroom events and needs on the online group site – and inform parents ONLY when they are upcoming </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. F) Delegate, use sign-up sheets <ul><ul><li>Use sign-up sheets (online or paper) to recruit volunteers to help. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make ABSOLUTELY sure that you are specific about what needs to be done and when it needs to be done </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What DOES NOT work are open ended requests for volunteers (i.e. “I need volunteers for the month of October” vs. “I need 3 volunteers this week for MWF from 10-11am”) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Classroom event page with sign-up sheet
  20. 20. Sign-up sheet
  21. 21. Automatic task and event reminders
  22. 22. Room parenting is NOT like herding cats! (if you do it right) <ul><li>Use technology wisely </li></ul><ul><li>Delegate </li></ul><ul><li>Stay Organized </li></ul><ul><li>Enjoy! (your kids only stay small for a short time) </li></ul>
  23. 23. www.qlubb.com <ul><li>Qlubb offers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Event calendar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online sign-up sheets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Automatic event/task reminders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Member roster </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email distribution list </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Photo, File sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple, intuitive interface </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1 –click to start a Qlubb </li></ul><ul><li>1 –click to join a Qlubb </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No individual user registration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No complex configuration </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The easiest way to get your classrooms online, communicating and getting stuff done! </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>Qlubb is an online group utility that helps real-life groups communicate, collaborate and get stuff done. Thousands of people use Qlubb each day to organize their playgroups, classrooms, sports groups, book clubs, church groups, and others. Qlubb is the easiest and a free way for groups to get stuff done. www.qlubb.com </li></ul><ul><li>Qlubb’s Founder, Sophia Chiang, is a veteran room parent and has been a member of several pre-school boards. With two young children and a full-time gig, Sophia manages to be the room parent for both her children’s classes and maintain her sanity… with the help of Qlubb. </li></ul>

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