If you want to give something back to your community and help out with your child's education, a brilliant way is to offer some of your time and expertise to your child's school.
You can help with the wide range of academic and extra-curricular activities - regularly or as a one-off when the need arises, in academic subjects or sporting excellence, or supporting the school administration and building. You might also be interested in joining the PTA and fundraising for the school.
Sport plays an important part in a school's life, both within the ordinary day and in extra-curricular activities. Parents with an interest in and experience of a particular sport can play a vital role in the coaching and organising of school teams. For example, you might run a swimming club for the pupils at the weekend, coach the football team after school or help with tennis lessons in the summer.
In the classroom
Parents can offer a wide range of expertise in the classroom - be it in a subject you've studied or sharing an interest or hobby. What about computers or art? You could come in to school to work with children regularly - or perhaps your job is connected with a subject the children are studying, and they could benefit from a one-off session discussing your work with you.
Practical expertise is always valued. Does the classroom need new shelves or curtains? Would the classroom furniture benefit from a coat of paint? Parents with the necessary know-how can improve the children's environment and save the school money which could be spent on books or equipment.
How to go about it
Get in touch with your school or chat to the teachers and other parents to see where you might be able to help. Schools will always be glad of your offer.
Read Anne Davies' account of her weekly visits helping at her local school.